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First published 1948 






Printed and Published in Great Britain by C A Watts S. Co Limited, 
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Almost seventy-six years ago— on February 24, 1871, to be 
exact— Darwin published The Descent of Man, and so laid the 
foundation of out modern knowledge of man's origin. I grew 
up with the book and when a medical student became, as did so 
many of my contemporaries, an ardent Darwinist. The Descent 
of Man came of age in 1 892, but three years before that I had begun 
to apply myself to the dissection of anthropoid apes and of 
monkeys— the forms of life which were deemed most akin to 
man in structure. I 8 became as much interested in the structural 
relation of one ape to another as in their combined relationship to 
the structure of man. For wellnigh a score of years I pursued 
my inquiries into the anatomy of man and ape, but after 1908 I 
became interested in the much more important problem: in 
what circumstances and by what means were the body and the 
brain of an ape transformed into those of a human being ? When 
and where did this transformation take place? To permit such 
an evolutionary change to happen I conceived that two conditions 
were essential : first, that the Primates which were to undergo the 
change must have formed a social group ; second, that the group 
must have been separated or isolated from all neighbouring 
groups. I was by no means the first to perceive that isolation 
was an essential condition of group evolution, but I think I was 
the first to detect the means by which such isolation was secured. 
My predecessors attributed isolation to physical barriers— to 
mountain ranges, to wide seas, and to impassable deserts— whereas 
I found the " machinery of isolation " to be resident in the 
mentality of ape and of man. When that idea came to me, I 
found I was in apposition to solve many problems in human 
evolution which had formerly puzzled me. 

From 1908 uracil the time at which I write (1947) not a year 
has passed without bringing " grist to my mill." Somewhere 
someone has discovered a fact, or conceived an idea, which cast 
a new light on the means and manner by which man had made his 


ascent. One year it was the discovery of fossil remains of man or 
of ape ; another brought us more exact methods of dating the 
antiquity of such fossils. Our knowledge of the embryology of 
man and ape steadily advanced ; our information concerning the 
mentality and habits of apes and of men has gone on increasing ; 
our understanding of the manner in which the germinal inheri- 
tance of one generation is handed on to the next has grown ever 
more precise; the mode in which functional and structural 
changes were brought about became more apparent; and 
tidings of how primitive peoples live came steadily in from the 
most distant lands. In all of these ways new light has been, and 
is being, thrown on the problem of human origins. These forty 
years I have been standing, as it were, at the receipt of custom and, 
while pursuing my own inquiries, have gathered into my port- 
folios each fact or idea as it came along in the hope of gaining 
materials from which I might fashion a more precise theory of 
man's evolution. This book represents the harvest of a life- 
time. I have bound my harvest into sheaves, for each essay 
represents a sheaf. And my sheaves, when built together, form 
a rick or theory; not a completed one I admit, but yet neirer 
completion than any that have gone before. 

The appearance of A New Theory of Human Evolution was 
heralded in the volume of essays I published in 1946 under the 
title Essays on Human Evolution. In the preface to that volume 
I wrote :— 

" There are three main themes on which I believe I can 
throw light. The first theme relates to the manner in which 
the final stages of man's evolution or ascent was accomplished. 
Most anthropologists conceive a sort of Jacob's ladder up 
which mankind has ascended, rung upon rung, to reach his 
present estate ; whereas I am convii-ced that the evidence is 
now sufficient to permit us to draw a reliable and circum- 
stantial picture of the conditions in which mankind lived 
while its major evolutionary changes w.ere taking place. 
My second theme relates to the current conception of Race 
and Nation. Most of my colleagues regard a nation as a 
political unit, with which anthropologists have no concern ; 
whereas I regard a nation as an ' evolutionary unit,' with 
which anthropologists ought to be greatly concerned. The 


only live races in Europe to-day are its nations. My third 
theme relates to war—' the greatest evil of the modem 

" The natural order in which my three themes should have 
been handled was to give first an exposition of my theory of 
human evolution ; then to trace the origin of nations, of 
races, and of the varieties and sub-species of mankind; and 
lastly to deal with the origin of man's morality and of war." 

My preface then goes on to explain how I was tempted to 
reverse the " natural order " of my exposition and to deal first 
with the rise of man's morality, of his immorality, and to trace 
the scourge of war to its evolutionary roots. In this present 
volume I take up my other main themes— my theory of man's 
evolution, the demarcation of mankind into its major divisions or 
varieties, the role played by " race " in evolution and the rise of 
nations. My previous volume was a superstructure ; the present 
volume is an exposition of the fundamentals on which that 
superstructure is based. 

Readers and critics, having looked at the first essay, in which 
my theory is outlined, having glanced at the synopses which 
preface each essay, and having read the summary given in the last 
essay may be moved to say : Why, this is not a new theory ; it is 
simply Darwin's theory extended, modified, and brought up to 
date ! With such a verdict I will not quarrel ; the foundation on 
which I have built is that laid by Darwin. But the theory of 
human evolution expounded in my text differs in so many things, 
both great and small, from that outlined in The Descent of Man, 
that I think it is entitled to be called " new." At least it is a new 
rendering of the Darwinian theory. 

In a work of this kind an author becomes indebted to hundreds 
of men, both living andndead. I have tried to be just to them in 
all my borrowings. I take this opportunity of acknowledging 
my great indebtedness to Mrs. Rupert Willis for the help she has 
given me in clarifying my text, and to Miss Gwen Williams for 
re-typing my original script. 

Arthur Keith. 
Downe, Kent, 
February 8, 1947- 



I. A Summary of the New or " Group " Theory . . i 

II. How Fas the " Group " Theory Differs from Other 

Theories of Man's Origin 10 

III. Evidence of the Particulate Grouping of Humanity 

during the Primal Period of its Evolution . . 19 

IV. Ownership of Territory as a Factor in Human 

Evolution 28 

V. Group Spirit as a Factor in Human Evolution . 37 

VI. Patriotism as a Factor in Human Evolution . . 46 

VII. How Co-operation was combined with Competition to 

• serve as a Factor in Human Evolution . . 55 

VIII. Mental Bias as a Factor in Human Evolution . 64 

IX. Resentment and Revenge as Factors in Human 

Evolution 74 

X. The Search for Status as a Factor in Human Evo- 

lution 84 

XI. Human Nature as an Instrument or Government . 94 

XII. Leadership and Loyalty as Factors in Human 

Evolution 104 

XIII. Morality as a Factor in Human Evolution . . 114 

XIV. The Machinery of Evolution 125 

XV. Isolation and Inbreeding as Factors in Human 

Evolution 136 

XVI. EndogajSy, Exogamy, and Monogamy as Factors in 

Human Evolution . 147 

XVII. The Contrasted Fates of Man and Ape ... 161 

XVIII. Sex Differentiation and Sex Hormones as Factors 

in FRjman Evolution 171 



XIX. Sexual Selection and Hormonal Action as Factors 

in the Differentiation of Mankind into Races . 182 

XX. " Fcetalization " as a Factor in Human Evolution . 192 

XXI. Crossing the Rubicon 'twixt Ape and Man . . 202 

XXII. The Anthropoidal Ancestors of Mankind spread 

Abroad 212 

XXIII. Man becomes a Denizen of All Parts of the World 223 

XXIV. The Five Major Divisions of Mankind _ . . . 234 

XXV. The African Theory applied to explain the Distri- 

bution of the Racial Types of Mankind . . 245 

XXVI. A New Conception of the Genesis of Modern Races 256 

XXVII. On the Threshold of the Modern World of Human 

Evolution 267 

XXVIII. The Antiquity of Village Settlements . . . 278 

XXIX. The Transformation of Village Units into City Units 287 

XXX. Egypt as the Oldest Home of Nation-Building . 297 

XXXI. Evolution of Nationalities in Europe illustrated by 

that of Scotland 308 

XXXII. The Making of Human Races 319 

XXXIII. The Peoples and Races of Europf .... 329 

XXXIV. Nationalism as a Factor in Human Evolution . 341 

XXXV. Racialism: Its Nature and its Prevalence in South 

Africa 353 

XXXVI. National Self-Determination illustrated by the Case 

of the Irish Free State 364 

XXXVII. The Jews as a Nation and as a Race . . .375 

XXXVIII. The Jews as a Nation and as a Race (Continued). 

Anti-Semitism: Zionism 386 

XXXIX. Nation-Building on a Continental Scal?, . . 396 
XL. The Rise of Nations in British Dominions . . 409 
XLI. Retrospect and Prospect l 421 

Index . 43r 



Synopsis. — Circumstances which led the author to formulate the 
" Group " Theory of Human Evolution. Hormones as part of the 
machinery of evolution. A search for the factors which prevent the 
swamping of new characters when they first appear. Such factors are 
found in the separate grouping of primitive peoples. A mosaic grouping 
was in existence among the higher Primates before the emergence of 
mans simian ancestry. Evolutionary units defined. The growth of 
such units from local groups to tribes, and from tribes to nations. A 
great number of small competing units favour rapid evolutionary changes. 
The original grouping was determined by territory, not by kinship. 
Hbw evolutionary units are kept apart. The importance of a sense of 
community. The group theory assumes that in all stages oj human 
evolution co-operation has been combined with competition. The 
behaviour of evolutionary units has always been based on a twofold 
code of morality. Such a code favours the rise of the " bad " as well as 
of the "good" components of human nature. Human nature is a 
product of evolution and is also concerned in the process of evolution. 
Extensive migratory movements belong to a late phase of human 

Let me begin this essay by recounting the circumstances which 
led me to formulate a new scheme of human evolution to which 
I have given the provisional name of " Group " Theory.* In 
1908, when I had entered my forty-third year, I was placed in 
charge of the vast treasury of things housed in the Museum of the 
Royal College of Surgeons of England. Up to that time I had 

* In the first draft of this book I used the term " Mosaic " to designate my 
theory because it involved a closely-set mosaic of competing groups or tribes. 
Later I realized that it was not the closely-set arrangement of groups that was 
the essential point of my theoJy, but the existence of separate competing units 
or groups. Hencejthe name " Group " Theory. Readers will find in my text 
traces of the name I used in the first draft. 



occupied myself with an anatomical exploration of the bodies of 
man and ape with a view to determining the structural relation- 
ship of the one to the other. Soon after taking office at the 
College of Surgeons there was a shift in the main object of my 
inquiries ; my chief interest became centred, not in the structural 
resemblances and differences between man and ape, but in the 
problem of how the many species of ape, and, in particular, the 
various races of mankind, had come by the forms in which we 
now find them. In short, I found myself in pursuit of what, in 
crude terms, may be described as the " machinery of human 

At the time of which I write a fundamental addition was being 
made to our knowledge of the machinery of evolution by the 
discovery of substances to which Starling had given the name 
" hormones." 1 These substances, formed in the organs of the 
living body and circulating with the blood, served not only to 
harmonize the several functions of the body but, as Starling in- 
ferred, to co-ordinate the development and growth of the organs 
and regions of the body, and so determine their form and 
features. To obtain a knowledge of the part played by hormones 
in the shaping of the human head and body, I applied myself to a 
close study of those disorders of growth which, we had reason to 
believe, were due to derangements of the hormone system — 
the Surgeons' museum being particularly rich in examples of 
such disorders. 

I made a close study of the structural changes effected by an 
abnormal activity of the hormones emanating from the pituitary 
gland, as exemplified in the bodies of men and women who had 
become the subjects of that disorder of growth then known as 
acromegaly. 2 I noted with interest that in the skulls of such 
subjects all the features which were overgrown were just those 
which found such a robust development in the fossil skulls of an 
extinct race — the Neanderthal race of Europe. It was therefore 
possible to explain many of the cranial features of Neanderthal 
man as being due to a vigorous action on the paft of his pituitary 
system. From the study of the dead I passed to that of the living. 
I came across families which manifested by their large frames and 
exaggerated features of face a dominance of their pituitaries ; I 
noted, too, that such features often passed from parent to child. 

When I proceeded to speculate on how a new race could be 


fashioned out of such families I came up against what, at first sight, 
seemed to be an insurmountable difficulty. These families 
married into other families, thus scattering abroad their genetic 
inheritance — their genes ; outside marriages brought fresh genes 
among them. A new race could be fashioned only if such 
families lived in a small isolated community, inside which all 
marriages must be contracted. I, therefore, set out in search of 
such small isolated communities in the modern world, and found 
that they were still in existence in those parts of the earth which 
are inhabited by primitive peoples. The evidence gleaned while 
on this inquiry into the grouping of primitive peoples convinced 
me that during the whole period of human evolution mankind 
had been divided into a vast number of isolated local com- 
munities, each inhabiting a delimited area or territory. T made 
the results of this inquiry the subject of the address I gave fcr- 'he 
Royal Anthropological Institute, as its President, at the close A 
191 5. 3 My main thesis was that right down to the dawn ol 
civilization the habitable earth formed a mosaic of separated 
tearitories and of peoples, and that such a grouping favoured 
rapid evolutionary change. 

Seeing that the apes which show a structural affinity to man 
are divided into local groups or communities, we may presume 
that the mosaic pattern was already in existence when the simian 
ancestry of man began to spread abroad on the earth. The area 
of distribution was extended by older, successful local groups 
giving off" broods which formed new groups or communities. 
The size of a local group depended on the natural fertility of its 
territory; in primitive peoples which still retain the original 
mosaic form a local group varies from fifty to 150 individuals — 
men, women, and children. Such local, inbreeding, com- 
petitive groups I shall sf>eak of as " evolutionary units " ; they 
represent the original teams which were involved in the inter- 
group struggle for survival. I am assuming that the earliest 
forms of humanity were already organized on a mosaic pattern 
when the human brain reached that stage of development which 
made speech possible. Far from speech tending to break down 
the barriers between local groups, it had an opposite effect, for 
we know that speech changes quickly when primitive peoples 
become separated. 

Throughout the later stages of human evolution the tendency 


has always been towards the production of larger and more 
powerful evolutionary units. In the continent of Australia, for 
example, where the native population has always* been dependent 
on the natural produce of its territories, there 'remain only a few 
regions where local groups persist as separate evolutionary units ; 4 
in the greater part of the continent local groups have become 
federated into large, isolated, inbreeding, evolutionary units, or 
tribes. Tribes represent a second step in the production of 
evolutionary units. In Africa, south of the Sahara, all stages in 
the growth of units are still to be found, from the local groups of 
Bushmen to large tribal federations, groups under chiefs or kings. 
The evidence from the New World corroborates that which has 
been cited from Africa; in pre-Spanish times every stage in the 
development of evolutionary units was represented; in the 
extreme south local groups still persisted among the Fuegians; 
in North America, among the Iroquois, for example, large tribal 
federations had come into being ; in Mexico, and particularly in 
Peru, tribal grouping had almost reached a third stage, the 

The conversion of tribal evolutionary units into the still 
more powerful national units belongs to a late stage of human 
evolution; indeed, national concentrations became possible only 
after agriculture and allied arts had made some degree of progress. 
When die written records of Europe begin, we find that continent 
divided into a multitude of tribal territories, many of which were 
of large size, and long before the end of the first millennium B.C. 
the process of tribal fusion and federation had made considerable 
headway. I shall not stay now to discuss the feudal stage which 
intervened between the tribal and national stages in many parts 
of Europe, because the question which is uppermost in my mind 
is this : When does a tribal unit become a national unit? It is 
when tribesmen forget their former loyalties and become 
conscious of being sharers in, and individual workers for, the 
common destiny of their new or national unit. Thus the group 
theory assumes that during the earlier stages ofhuman evolution 
Nature's competing teams were represented by small, local 
evolutionary units; later the local units becsme fused into 
larger or tribal units; by the fusion and disintegration of 
tribal units national units came into existence. 

In a later essay I shall discuss the effects which an increase in 


the size of a unit brings about in the rate of evolutionary change; 
meantime I may say that my main conclusion is that evolutionary 
change proceeds- most quickly when the competing units are small 
in size and of great number. Such evidence as is afforded by the 
fossil remains of men who lived during the Pleistocene Age — the 
latest of geological periods, the duration of which is estimated at 
500,000-600,000 years — suggests rapid structural changes. At the 
beginning of that period we find the poor-brained fossil men of 
Java and of China, while towards the end of that period we can 
instance the rich-brained Cro-Magnon type of Europe. 

Many anthropologists hold the opinion that the original 
grouping of mankind was by kinship, and that it was only 
when such groups settled on the land that the demarcation became 
territorial. My inquiries of 191 5 left me in no doubt that a 
territorial group was primary ; every one of the units I have 
specified — local communities, tribes, and nations — inhabited and 
claimed the sole ownership of a demarcated tract of country ; 
all were bound to their homeland by a strong affection ; and life 
was willingly sacrificed to maintain its integrity. I therefore 
came to regard the territorial sense — a conscious ownership of 
the homeland, one charged with a deep emotion — as a highly 
important factor in human evolution. Every such territory- 
serves as an evolutionary cradle. In assigning priority to kin- 
ship, authorities have been misled by the exceptional case of the 
Children of Israel. They emerged from the desert divided into 
twelve tribes grouped according to kinship; only after their 
arrival in Palestine did they become territorial. Among the 
great people of modern times the only ones known to me who 
succeed in maintaining their identity without the aid of a 
territorial bond are the Jews. (See Essays XXX VII-XXX VIII.) 

A sense of territory helps to keep primitive communities apart; 
and when we dig into* human nature we find a more potent 
machinery to secure the isolation of such communities. My 
gropings of 191 5 led me to believe that the chief factors in 
securing isolatierf were (a) clannishness, a mental state which 
impels us to favour our kind and to be indifferent or averse to all 
outside our kin^ ; and (b) the state of -mind which Giddings 5 
had named the " consciousness of kind." It is the latter factor 
that I would now emphasize, only I would speak, not of con- 
sciousness of kind, but of consciousness of community. Among 


primitive peoples the range of sympathy is confined to their own 
community. Local communities, our primary social units, being 
small, every face in them was known to meribers, strangers being 
immediately detected and their presence resented. This con- 
sciousness of kind, this community sense, is a character not only 
of human social groups but of all animal societies whatsoever, be 
they ant or be they ape. On the other hand, a knowledge of 
blood relationship has been attained by man only, and could not 
have been reached until the human brain began to manifest its 
high faculties. 

The group theory assumes that the social organization and 
mentality still displayed by primitive peoples were those which 
regulated the conduct of evolving groups of humanity in past 
geological ages. If this assumption is permitted, then we can 
give a reasonable explanation of how human races arose ; if it 
is rejected, then we can neither explain the. origin of humanity 
as it now is, nor can we understand the strange duality of man's 

The process which secures the evolution of an isolated group 
of humanity is a combination of two principles which at first 
sight seem incompatible — namely, co-operation with competition. 
So far as concerns the internal affairs of a local group, the warm 
emotional spirit of amity, sympathy, loyalty, and of mutual help 
prevails; but so far as concerns external affairs — its attitude 
towards surrounding groups — an opposite spirit is dominant : 
one of antagonism, of suspicion, distrust, contempt, or of open 
enmity. The spirit of co-operation helps to strengthen the social 
bonds of a group ; the spirit of antagonism not only secures the 
isolation of the group but compels it to maintain its powers of 
defence and, if the group is to extend its dominion, its powers of 

In brief, I hold that from the very beginning of human evolu- 
tion the conduct of every local group was regulated by two codes 
of morality, distinguished by Herbert Spencer as the " code of 
amity " and the " code of enmity." 6 There were thus exposed 
to natural selection " two opposing aspects of man's mental 
nature. The code of amity favoured the growth and ripening 
of all those qualities of human nature which find universal 
approval — friendliness, goodwill, love, altruism, idealism, faith, 
hope, charity, humility, and self-sacrifice — all the Christian 


virtues. Under the code of enmity arose those qualities which 
are condemned by all civilized minds — emulation, envy, the 
competitive spirit, deceit, intrigue, hate, anger, ferocity, and 
enmity. How the "neural basis of such qualities, both good and 
bad, came into existence during the progressive development 
of the human brain, we do not know, but it is. clear that the 
chances of survival of a struggling, evolving group would be 
strengthened by both sets of qualities. These two sets of opposite 
qualities must be balanced to secure continuous, progressive 
evolutionary changes; an over-development of the elements 
which subserve the code of amity would make its group vulner- 
able to its enemies ; an overgrowth of those which support the 
code of enmity would lead ultimately to the destruction of the 

It will thus be seen that I look on the duality of human nature 
as an essential part pf the machinery of human evolution. It is 
the corner-stone of my mosaic edifice. Human nature is both a 
product and a process. It has been built up as a product of man's 
evolution, but it has been developed so as to serve in the process 
ofevolutionary change. 

Besides the qualities in human nature which directly subserve 
one or other of man's two codes of morality, there are others 
which are of equal service to either code, and which work for the 
welfare of the evolutionary group. In the forefront I would 
place that quality of will known as courage; man can be 
courageous in ill-doing as whole-heartedly as in well-doing. 
There is the inborn love of self, and yet a readiness to sacrifice 
self in causes both good and bad. There is that form of mental 
hunger known as curiosity; urged by this appetite, man dis- 
covers with equal zest things which kill and things which cure. 
There are the virtues of prudence and of temperance, which may 
be 1 made the playthings of either code. Man may use his gifts 
of reason and of imagination to further good or bad ends. 
Loyalty rules among thieves as well as among honest men. If a 
group is to prospSr, there must be within it a desire for children 
and a love of them. A love of knowledge is also advantageous. 
All these mental qualities have survival values. A love of beauty 
may also minister to the survival of a group. 

The major obstacle to the acceptance of the group theory of 
human evglution is the belief, held by most of my contemporaries, 


that from the very beginning mankind has been always on the 
move, jostling against and mixing with one another, and that 
there has been no long quiescent period when local groups were 
stationary — such being an essential postulate of my theory. The 
belief that man has always been a migratory animal is based upon 
the happenings of a comparatively recent period of human 
history. Dawning history reveals vast movements of peoples in 
Europe, in Asia, in Africa, in the New World, and in the islands 
of the Pacific. It is inferred that these movements of historical 
times were but a continuation of the movements of the earliest 
prehistoric period. I regard this view as a mistaken one, for two 
reasons. My first reason, a minor one, is based on the conditions 
under which our Pleistocene ancestors had to live. They were 
dependent on the natural produce of their territories ) to gain a 
bare livelihood was a daily preoccupation. Lack of supplies 
made long-range migratory movements impossible; incursions 
into neighbouring territories could have been of the nature of 
only local forays. It was only after domestication of animals and 
of plants had made some advance that there were sufficient stocks 
of food to make long-range and extensive migratory movements 

My chief reason for disbelieving in early migratory movements 
is this. We have to account for the fact that each major racial 
type of mankind is confined to a single area of the globe; the 
Negro type to Africa, the Mongol type to Eastern Asia, the 
Caucasian type to Western Asia and Europe, the Australoid type 
to Australia and neighbouring islands. If the group theory is 
accepted, then we can explain such a distribution ; a long period 
in which local groups were comparatively stationary would bring 
about such a distribution. If there had been, as has been main- 
tained by distinguished authorities, 7 free migration and mixture 
in the human world from primordial times, then such distribution 
of types cannot be explained. 

In this prebminary essay I have enumerated the chief points 
which make up my conception of the mode of man's evolution. 
To this conception I have ventured, with some degree of temerity, 
to give the name " Group " Theory. In the essays which make 
up the remainder of this book, evidence in support of my thesis 
will be brought forward and discussed. 



1 Bayliss and Starling, Prac. Roy. Soc , 1904, vol. 73, p. 310. See also 
Professor Starling's lecture on " The Chemical Correlations of the Functions 
of the Body," Lancet, .1905, vol. 2, p. 339. 

2 Keith, Sir A., " An Enquiry into the Nature of Skeletal Changes in 
Acromegaly," Lancet, 1911, vol. 1, p. 722. See also my Hener Lectures on 
" The Evolution of Human Races in the Light of the Hormone Theory," 
Johns Hopkins Hosp. Bull., 1922, vol. 33, pp. 155, 195. 

3 Keith, Sir A., " Certain Factors concerned in the Evolution of Human 
Races,"/oHrtt. Roy. Anthrop. Inst., 1*916, vol. 46, p. 10. 

4 Wheeler, G. C.,'The Tribe and Intertribal Relations in Australia, 1910. 

5 Giddings, Franklin H., Principles of Sociology, 1898. 

6 Spencer, Herbert, Principles of Ethics, 1892, vol. 1, pp. 316, 471. 

7 See Dixon, Roland B., The Racial History of Man, 1923 ; Haddon, A. C, 
and Huxley, Julian S., We Europeans, 1935. 



Synopsis. — The group theory assumes, in common with other theories 
of man's origin, that the human stem sprang from a simian root. Former 
authors who have assumed that primitive humanity was divided into 
numerous small groups or communities. Gumplowitz and Sumner 
as pioneers. Territorialism and patriotism have not been recognized 
previously as factors in human evolution. The importance of "group 
consciousness " recognized by Darwin. Competition and selection 
are accepted as factors. The combination of co-operation with com- 
petition has also been recognized previously. How isolation of groups 
is secured. Group perpetuation. Inbreeding as a factor. The role 
of genes in evolution. Multiple small units are assumed to favour rapid 
evolutionary changes. Fertility has been the subject of most rigorous 
selection. Primitive groups normally remained fixed to their territories, 
yet under certain conditions movements took place. Group and in- 
dividual selection went on hand in hand. Civilization brought about 
the formation of large groups. The effects of increase of group on 
evolutionary change. The group theory supplies a background for 
human evolution. The conception of human nature as a product of 
evolution is not new, but the contention that it plays an important role 
in evolution has not been made before. 

Wherein does the group theory, outlined in the preceding essay, 
differ from other explanations of man's evolutionary origin? 
This essay is an answer to that question ; in it I propose to discuss 
the points in which I am in agreement with other students of 
human evolution as well as those wherein we differ. Such a 
discussion should help my readers to obtain a clearer idea of the 
conception I have in mind when I speak of the group theory. 
In one important point I am in agreement with all my pre- 
decessors, with those of the Darwin-Huxley period and their 

THE GROUP And other theories of man S ORIGIN 1 1 

successors — namely, that the simian root or stock which gave 
origin to the monkeys of the Old World, and to anthropoid or 
man-like apes, was also that which gave birth to humanity. 

I regard the division of evolving humanity into a multitude 
of small, separate, competitive communities or societies as the 
chief feature of my theory. The following passage shows that 
Darwin was familiar with the idea : x " Therefore, looking far 
enough in the stream of time, and judging from the social habits 
of man as he now exists, the most probable view is that he 
aboriginally lived in small communities." Walter Bagehot 
(1826-77), who was the first to apply Darwinism to the problem 
of modern politics, describes man's early condition thus : " In 
the beginning of things . . . each was a parish race, narrow in 
thought and bounded in range." 2 Aristotle, speaking of the 
first appearance of governments, says: '"The world was then 
divided into small .communities." 3 The same idea was enter- 
tained by Archdeacon Paley, 4 and by Henry Home of Karnes. 5 
Writing of a comparatively late phase of human evolution, that 
of Palaeolithic man, the late Prof. Karl Pearson inferred that the 
social unit " could hardly have been larger than that of a family." 6 
Thus there is nothing new in postulating that early mankind was 
divided into an exceedingly great number of small communities ; 
what is new is that this mosaic of humanity endured throughout 
the entire period of man's major evolution and provided the most 
favourable circumstances for bringing about rapid changes in 
brain and in body. 

Mention must be made here of two men who have preceded 
me and have realized very clearly that early mankind was separated 
into a very great number of small competitive communities or 
social units. One was Prof. Louis Gumplowitz of Graz (1838— 
1909), who spoke of " innumerable petty units " ; 7 the other, 
Prof. W. G. Sumner of Yale (1844-1910). " The conception of 
primitive society that we ought to form," wrote the latter, " is 
that of small groups scattered over a territory. . . . The size of 
the group is determined by the conditions for the struggle for 
existence." 8 Neither of these authors, however, perceived how 
favourable waj the co-existence of a multitude of separate, 
inbreeding, competitive ^ocial units for bringing about rapid, 
progressive evolutionary changes. 

Sumner, in the passage just quoted, adds a feature to which I 


attach great importance as a factor in human evolution — namely, 
that of " territory." Each local group, or combination of local 
groups, lived within a demarcated area ; a group claimed to own 
such a territory as its homeland ; to this homeland, as to its 
fellows, a group was bound by that particular form of affection 
(or prejudice) known as patriotism. The role of patriotism in 
bringing about evolutionary change will form the subject- 
matter of a separate essay. My present object is merely to 
emphasize the place given to it in the group theory of human 
evolution; so far as I know, the evolutionary significance of 
territorialism and of patriotism has not been recognized by 
previous writers on human evolution. 

We now turn to examine the mentality of the small groups into 
which early mankind was divided. We may infer, from what 
we know of social animals, that the members of each human 
group were conscious of membership of their own particular 
community, and were equally aware that their group was 
different from all other groups. We may designate this mental 
trait as " group consciousness." It was not until Darwin came,to • 
write The Descent of Man (1871) that he perceived that social 
animals are actively conscious, not of their race or of their species, 
but only of the community or group to which they belong. 
" Sympathy," he noted, " is directed solely towards members of 
the same community, and therefore towards known, and more or 
less loved members, but not lo all the individuals of the same 
species." 9 In another passage Darwin amplifies his meaning 
thus : " Primeval man regarded actions as good or bad, solely as 
they obviously affected the welfare of the tribe, not of the 
species." 10 

Herbert Spencer, Darwin's great contemporary, went still 
farther in defining the mentality of fhe groups into which 
primitive men were divided. Group consciousness induced a 
discrimination in the behaviour of primeval mankind; their 
conduct towards members of their own group was based on one 
code — the code of amity; while that to members of other groups 
was based on another code — that of enmityP- As a result of 
group consciousness, which serves to bind the members of a 
community together and to separate* the community from all 
others, " there arises," to use the words of Professor Sumner, 

a differentiation between ourselves — the ' we ' group or ' in ' 


group — and everybody else — the ' out ' group." 12 Thus in a 
wide field of evolving groups of early mankind there were two 
mental factors at work : one was " group consciousness " ; the 
other, a dual code of behaviour. Both produce evolutionary 
results, and are therefore included as elements in the group theory. 

Into the group theory come those evolutionary factors which 
received their first impress from Darwin — competition, selection, 
survival. Darwin knew that in the mosaic of primitive humanity 
competition acted chiefly by setting one social group against all 
neighbouring groups ; selection or survival depended on " team- 
work." Here are Darwin's own words : " And natural selection, 
arising from the competition of tribe with tribe, in some such large 
area . . . would, under favourable conditions, have sufficed 
to raise man to his high position." 13 The competition which 
Darwin had in mind was that of team against team ; this was also 
the conception held by Russel Wallace. 14 

Two further extracts from Darwin will serve to give my 
readers a more exact idea of the evolutionary role of competition 
jn a world of primitive humanity broken up into separate units. - 
" When of two adjoining tribes one becomes less numerous and 
less powerful than the other, the contest is soon settled by war, 
slaughter, cannibalism, slavery and absorption." 15 Here Darwin 
emphasizes the cruel side of competitive evolution, but the next 
extract — and many more might be cited — leads us to realize 
that he was quite aware, so far as concerns human evolution, 
that co-operation was combined with competition : " When 
two tribes of primeval men, living in the same country, came into 
competition, the tribe including the greater number of courageous, 
sympathetic and of faithful members would succeed better and 
conquer the others." 16 Thus competition favoured the tribes 
which were rich in co-operative qualities. It may be regretted 
that Darwin did not lay greater emphasis on the part played by 
co-operation in his scheme of evolution. Kropotkin 17 went to 
the opposite extreme by exaggerating the part played by " mutual 
aid " and minimizing competition as a factor in evolution. In 
the group theory competition and co-operation are regarded as 
twin factors which work together to bring about evolutionary 
change. Quite independently Dr. W. C. Allee came to the same 
conclusion. 18 

In the group theory isolation of competing groups is regarded 


as a condition which must be present if effective, progressive 
evolutionary changes are to be brought about. Moritz Wagner 19 
held that isolation was a cardinal factor in evolution, an opinion 
which was never fully accepted by Darwin. The most Darwin 
would admit was that " although isolation is of great importance 
in the production of new species, on the whole I am inclined to 
believe that largeness of area is still more important." 20 After 
Darwin's time G. J. Romanes a sought to restore isolation as a 
factor in evolution to the place given to, it by Wagner. There is 
thus nothing new in giving isolation a leading place in my theory 
of human evolution ; what is new is the mode by which isolation 
of competing groups is maintained. The isolating machinery is 
assumed to be embedded in man's mentality. In every region of 
the modern world, where tribes still exist as independent entities, 
we find two opposite dispositions at work — one being group 
affection, which holds together the members of a community, 
and the other, group aversion, which keeps competing, evolving 
societies apart. These opposite dispositions are not confined to 
human societies ; they are to be seen at work in the communities 
into which all social animals are divided. We may assume, 
therefore, that in the very earliest stages of man's evolution, even 
in his simian stages, " human nature " was already converted into 
an instrument for securing group isolation. 

The group theory assumes that each of the many thousands of 
groups or communities into which early mankind was divided 
was the carrier and custodian of a particular assemblage of 
germinal seeds or genes; no two groups had exactly the same 
assemblage. If a group is to work out the evolutionary destiny 
inherent in its genes, it is necessary, not only that it should be 
isolated, thus preventing intercrossing, but that its integrity and 
its perpetuation should be maintained for a long succession of 
generations. Here again we find human nature called in to 
serve evolutionary ends. There are few desires more deeply 
ingrained in a man's nature than that which seeks for an endurance 
of his family, his kin, and his country. Thus, in'the group theory, 
each unit of primitive humanity is regarded as a closed society, 
one in which mating is confined within the limits of the com- 
munity ; all were inbreeding societies. , 

Thus my theory gives inbreeding a high place among the 
factors which bring about evolutionary changes. If it should 


happen that among the genes circulating within the limits of a 
group there are those of a recessive or evil nature, then, if the 
inbreeding group be small, these recessive genes will soon be 
brought togetheH in the course of conjugation. They will thus 
produce their evil results by bringing about defects in the develop- 
ment of the body, or irregularities in the growth of its parts, or 
deficiencies in one or more of its functions. Inbreeding, in the 
presence of defective genes, would thus lead to a speedy exter- 
mination of a group. But if it should be that a group's stock of 
genes were entirely healthy, prone to give rise to variations of a 
favourable, progressive nature, then inbreeding would tend to 
enhance their virtues and speed up the rate of evolutionary change. 
Thus it is assumed that a vast mosaic of competing, isolated units 
or groups provides the most favourable conditions for bringing 
about a rapid evolutionary advance. 

The later stages of man's evolution seem to have been effected 
in a surprisingly short period of time. At the beginning of the 
last geological period — the Pleistocene, with an estimated duration 
of little more than half a million years — the human brain was 
relatively small and simple, as shown by discoveries made in 
Java, China, and England, whereas at the end of the period Cro- 
Magnon man presents us with the human brain at its zenith. 

The theory I am postulating assumes that the character which 
underwent the most rigorous degree of selection during the small- 
group period was that of fertility. The tribe with the most and 
the best parents was the tribe which endured ; if the fertility of a 
tribe failed, its end was soon in sight. 

My theory assumes that the competing communities of 
primitive man were tied to their territories and were in a geo- 
graphical sense stationary. This is also the opinion of Sir A. M. 
Carr-Saunders. 23 There is very little evidence of tribal migration 
or of invasion of neighbouring territories in aboriginal Australia. 
Conditions during the small-group phase of early man must have 
been less static than with the Australian aborigines, otherwise 
successful and progressive types would have been penned up 
within their territories for ever. The conditions which induce 
a tribe to spread beyond the limits of its, territory are complex. 
An increase in numbers- an^l in power are conducive to extension, 
but there must be also a profound change in the emotional 
mentality of the tribe which bursts its borders. Thus it is assumed 


that a disposition to remain fixed and an opposite disposition to 
move have each of them a place in bringing about evolutionary 

Although it is assumed that, during the most progressive 
stages of human evolution, the group or team was the unit on 
which selective agencies wrought their effects, yet it also 
recognizes that there was a constant selection of the individuals 
which made up a group or team. Individual and group selection 
went on hand in hand. 

The group theory assumes that the segregation of mankind 
into a multitude of small units came to an end with the dawn of 
civilization. With the coming of agriculture evolutionary units 
began to grow, culminating in the multi-milhoned nations of 
modern times. What effect has the increase in size of unit had on 
evolutionary change ? To answer this question requires know- 
ledge and faculties beyond those at my disposal, but in a broad 
way I see that in large populations, crowded in cities, the result 
has been to render evolutionary changes diffuse, inchoate, and 
indeterminate, tending to produce a homogeneity of type rather 
than a number of sharply differentiated local types, as was the 
case when the evolutionary units were small. Besides, civiliza- 
tion is subjecting modem nations to hundreds of selective agencies 
of which early man knew nothing. The civilized mind condemns 
the naked manifestation of all factors which played a part in 
early evolution. 24 

My predecessors, in outhning their conceptions of man's 
evolution by means of diagrams, have omitted all reference to 
the actual background amid which evolutionary changes took 
place. 20 My theory supplies this background; it assumes that 
from the earliest to the latest stage of human evolution man- 
kind existed as separated societies, all of them competing to a 
greater or less degree for their place in the living world. And as 
the conditions amid which the later stages of human evolution 
were effected still exist in tribal areas of the earth, we have 
opportunities of observing how far the assumptions made by the 
theory postulated here may be regarded as right or wrong. 
Anthropoid apes still exist as local groups. I am. of opinion that 
a more extended study of anthropoid groups will provide informa- 
tion which will justify us in assuming that particulate grouping 
was also true of the simian stages of human evolution. 


The group theory makes two large assumptions in respect to 
human nature ; first, that it has been built up and matured as man 
progressed from' a simian stage to the full-blown stage met with 
in modern man ; "second, that human nature is so constituted as to 
serve as a chief factor in controlling human evolution. Human 
nature, as we have seen, keeps the members of a group together ; 
it serves also to keep groups apart; it urges groups to maintain 
their integrity and continuation; it imbues groups with their 
competitive spirit. The assumption that man's nature is a pro- 
duct of evolution is not new. "We find Bagehot making this 
statement as early as 1869 : " In those ages (of the primitive 
world) was formed the comparatively gentle, guidable thing 
which we call human nature." 2° Prof. Wm. McDougall also 
took an evolutionary view of human nature : " There can, I 
think, be no doubt, that the principal condition of the evolution 
of man's moral nature was group selection among primitive 
societies, constantly at war with one another." 27 Lastly a 
confirmatory statement by Wm. James : — 

" The theory of evolution is mainly responsible for this. 
Man, we have now reason to believe, has been evolved from 
infra-human ancestors, in whom pure reason scarcely existed, 
if at all, and whose mind, so far as it can have any function, 
would appear to have been an organ for adapting their 
movements to the impressions received from the environ- 
ment, so as to escape the better from destruction. . . . Our 
sensations are here to attract us, or to deter us, our memories 
to warn or encourage us, our feelings to impel, and our 
thoughts to restrain our behaviour, so that on the whole we 
may prosper and our days be long in the land." 28 

Thus it will be seen th^t most of the factors which go to make 
up the group theory have already been cited by students of human 
evolution. It is in the way in which these separate factors have 
been combined so as to co-operate in bringing about evolutionary 
changes that my theory differs from other theories of human 


1 The Descent of Man, ch. XX, p. 901, Murray's reprint of 2nd ed., 1913. 

2 Bagehot, W., Physics and Politics, 1896, p. 70. 

3 Aristotle's Politics, bk. Ill, ch. XV, p. 99 in Everyman ed. 


4 Pale)-, Wm., Moral and Political Philosophy, 1788, bk. VI, cL I. 

5 Home, Henry (Lord Kama), Sketches of the History of Man, i8i3,vol. 2, 
p. 18. 

6 Pearson, Karl, Ann. of Eugenics, 1930, vol. 4, p. 1. 

7 Gumplowitz, Louis, Sociologie et Politique, Paris, 1898; p. 143. 

8 Sumner, W. C, Folkways, 1906, p. 12. 

9 The Descent of Man, Murray, 1913, p. 163. 

10 Ibid.,?. 182. 

11 Spencer, H., Principles of Ethics, 1892, vol. 1, pp. 316, 322. 

12 Sumner, W. G., Folkways, p. 12. 

13 The Descent of Man, Murray, 1913, p. 97- 

14 Wallace, A. R., Anthrop. Rev., 1S64, vol. 2, p. 158. 

15 The Descent of Man, Murray, 1913, p. 282. 

16 Ibid., p. 199. 

17 Kropotkm, P., Mutual Aid: A Factor in Evolution, 1902. 

18 Allee, W. C, Social Life of Animals, 1939, p. 35; Science, 1943, vol. 97, 

P- 517- 

19 Wagner, Moritz, Die Darwinische Theorie und des Migration-Gesetz des 
Organisinen, 1868. 

20 Origin of Species, 6th cd,, 1885, p. 82. 

21 Romanes, G. j , Darwin and after Darwin, 1897. 

22 Origin of Species, p. 80. 

23 Carr-Saunders, Sir A. M., The Population Problem: A Study in Human 
Evolution, 1922, p. 238. 

24 Keith, Sir A., Essays in Human Evolution, 1946, p. 118. 

25 Keith, Sir A., The Construction of Man's Family Tree, 1934. 

26 Bagehot, W., Physics and Politics, p. 218. 

27 McDougall, Wm., The Group Mind, 1920, p. 264. 

28 James, Wm., Talks to Teachers, 1902, p. 24. 



Synopsis. — The need for the recognition of two periods in human 
evolution, primal and post-primal. Evidence of a former tribal 
organization in Scotland, England, Wales, Ireland, France, Germany, 
and Spain. Evidence of a tribal grouping among the early Romans. 
City-States represent Uribal entities. Tribalism in Ancient Greece, 
in the Balkans, in Hungary, and in Russia. Tribalism in Ancient 
Egypt and Mesopotamia. Tribalism in Asia Minor and in Arabia. 
The small nations of Biblical Palestine. The mosaic of peoples in 
the Caucasus, in Persia, in the western Himalayas, in Tibet, and 
Indo-China. The tribes of Mongolia and Manchuria; the villages 
of China; the tribes and castes of India. Evidence from Australasia, 
from the islands of Timor and Celebes, from New Guinea, New 
Hebrides, and from Australia. The tribal grouping of the Indian 
population of the New World. Africa as a continent of tribes in all 
stages of evolution. The evidence of archaeology. Evidence of social 
grouping among the Primates. From the evidence cited, the author 
holds that the division of early , evolving humanity into a multitude of 
small social groups may be assumed as true. 

In this essay I propose £p make a hurried circuit of the globe, 
noting as I pass from country to country the evidence for assum- 
ing that their populations are now, or were in former times, 

* Students of human evolution are handicapped by the lack of a term to 
indicate the period of man's evolution before the dawn of civilization and the 
period which succeeded the dawn. Here I use the term " primal " to cover the 
very long first perigd and " post-primal " to indicate the second — the age of 
civilization. If we assume .that 7000 B.C. marks the first glimmerings of 
civilization, then the post-primal period would have a duration of about 
9000 years, whereas we must attribute a duration of a million years or more to 
the primal period. 



divided into separate groups or tribes. I shall begin my survey 
with the Highlands of Scotland, which is but meet for one who, 
by birth, is half a Highlander. At the end of the sixteenth century 
Highlanders were still grouped in clans ; there were then forty- 
two of them, twenty-two in vigorous health, twenty of them 
broken. 1 Each clan had its chief, its territory, its allegiances, and 
its enmities. Savage measures applied after the Jacobite rebellion 
of 1745 brought the clan system of the Highlands to an end. 
The clans of the eighteenth century may be regarded as the debris 
of an earlier tribal organization, for in the first century of our era 
Highlanders had been confederated into sixteen tribes, while the 
Lowlanders — the population south of the Forth — were arranged 
in five tribes. 

At the corresponding period, the first century of the Roman 
occupation, the population of England had become confederated 
into fifteen large units or tribes. Wales, in the Roman period, 
could claim only three tribes, but there is evidence that these were 
compounded out of nearly fifty local groups, corresponding to 
the Scottish clans and Irish septs. 3 As for Ireland, the number of 
her tribes during the earlier centuries of cur era is most uncertain, 
but Keating 4 was probably near th<- vruth when he put the 
number of tribes or septs at its. Prichard, 5 a very reliable 
authority, gives the number of Irish tribes as sixteen. The clan 
system in Ireland was stamped out by warlike measures adopted 
by Elizabeth, James I, and Cromwell, but the clan spirit remained, 
and remains, untamed. Gibbon counted thirty independent 
tribes or nations of the first century in Britain; if he had had the 
1^^i,vimating the number of British tribal units a thousand 
" 'Caapic-, he would, in all likelihood, have had to multiply his 

ateHfcly ten. 
iTevnc^v turn to France as she was in the year 58 B.C., when 
llls^asar led bis army against her tribal communities. The 
tjiti&befe of her tribal States is estimated variously, and no wonder, 
^j^jng that conquest and coercion were always altering estimates. 
Gibbon gives the number of her independent States as one 
hundred. Prichard 6 gives the number as seventy, while Hubert 7 
is content with sixty, but states that these had b^en compounded 
out of some five hundred local clan;; or septs {Pagi). Hume 8 
quotes Appian to the effect that there were four hundred nations 
in Gaul — nations here meaning separate local communities. In 


any case, we cannot doubt that the Celtic inhabitants of Gaul 
were divided into hundreds of separate units, which, in the last 
century before our era, were being consolidated into larger tribal 
units. In ancient Germany, as in Gaul, the process of tribal 
amalgamation was also at work; when the Romans appeared 
on the Rhine, German tribes numbered about forty. 9 In Spain 
of the same period there were at least thirty-five demarcated 

I have failed to find any estimate of the number of separate 
peoples and tribes which occupied Italy in the year 753 B.C. — the 
date traditionally assigned to the foundation of Rome. A little 
later there were then springing up city-States in the Grecian 
south, and Etrurian confederations of cities were being formed in 
Etruria. 10 The founders of Rome were three confederated 
pastoral tribes. 11 South of them, in Latium, they were neigh- 
boured by some thirty townships, each representing a self-govern- 
ing community; in the mountainous country to the east there 
were numerous hill tribes. The founders of Rome, as they 
prew in numbers and expanded in territory, created new tribes, 
so that these ultimately numbered thirty-five, but such were 
artificial, State-devised tribes, quite different in nature from the 
independent, self-governing tribes and peoples which had grown 
up in Italy in the course of past evolutionary events. By the 
beginning of the second century B.C. all the tribes and peoples of 
Italy had been stripped of their independence, their evolutionary 
destinies passing under the control of Rome. 

Ancient Greece had an area of about 25,000 miles square — 
being rather smaller than Scotland. "When the seven tribes, four 
Ionian and three Dorian, descended on that land towards the end 
of the second millennium B.C., they found its inhabitants divided 
into territorial tribal units ; they also found a number of old- 
established city-States. Coming as conquering, dominant 
peoples, one may infer that the invaders accepted the tribal 
divisions which were already in existence, merely imposing on the 
ancient tribes their" persons, their will, and their tongues. The 
earliest records give four tribes to the State of Attica ; these, I 
infer, represent the tribal units taken over and dominated by the 
conquerors. Later, in Atljens as in Rome, tribes were recon- 
stituted and artificial tribes created. The twelve tribes of Elis 
may also represent a pre-Grecian division. 12 Paterson has 


estimated that there were 150 independent sovereign States in 
Ancient Greece. 13 

When these States were being established in* Ancient Greece, 
the inhabitants of that part of Europe which lies between the 
Adriatic and the Black Sea retained their tribal organization. 
It was so in Thessalia, Macedonia, and Thrace. In Thrace, 
according to Herodotus, there were fifty tribes grouped into 
twelve nations. Even in modern times the inhabitants of 
Montenegro are grouped into more than forty tribes. 14 The 
Magyars, when they invaded Hungary, were divided into 108 
septs or clans. 15 In Russia of the thirteenth century there were 
sixty-four independent States. Gibbon mentions that in early 
Russia there were 4,600 village communities, each being an 
independent entity. In the lands lying to the north of the Black 
Sea, extending from the Crimea to the mouth of the Danube, 
there were 129 separate dialects or tongues — evidence of a 
multitude of peoples grouped in that area. 16 

Egypt carries her history into the past more reliably, and more 
completely, than any other country. Before the union of the 
Crowns (3 200 B.C.) the population of Upper Egypt was grouped 
in tribal communities along the banks of the Nile. " Each of 
these tribes was recognized as possessor of its district, which was 
denoted by the name of some sacred animal." 17 The number of 
pre-dynastic tribes, or Nomes, has been variously estimated; 
one authority gives twenty, another forty. 18 During periods of 
dissolution which overtook Egypt from time to time during 
the course of her long history one or more of the local com- 
munities reasserted their independence. The Berberines, who 
occupied the banks of the Nile south of Egypt, were also 
grouped in tribes. Thotmes of the eighteenth dynasty claimed 
to have conquered 113 of them. Major G. W. Murray states 
that fifty Bedouin tribes frequent the outskirts of modern 
Egypt. 19 

The city-States which began to be established in the valleys of 
Tigris and Euphrates towards the end of the firth millennium B.C. 
represented separate, independent tribal entities. Round the 
area of lands occupied by the city-States the. native peoples 
retained their original grouping — that of small tribes. For 
example, when an early king of Agade carried war across the 
Persian Gulf, he met widi, and conquered, thirty-two petty 


kings; Tiglath-pileser (1115-1102) of Assyria prided himself on 
thc'conquest of forty-two peoples. 

Asia Minor is 'now, and always has been, a mosaic of peoples. 
The Hittites and Mitanni arose to power through a series of tribal 
confederations. 20 The modern Kurds are divided into more than 
three hundred tribes, speaking ten dialects. 21 The Vilayet of 
Mosul has been described as " a mosaic of races," each village 
having its own dialect. South of the area we have glanced at, 
from Syria in the .north-west to Oman in the south-east, lies the 
vast mosaic of Arab peoples in all stages of tribal evolution. Dr. 
E. Epstein 22 has made a survey of the Arabs inhabiting the. 
southern part of Palestine, known as the Negeb, which is little 
more than half the size of Yorkshire, and found them divided 
into five tribes and seventy-five sub-tribes. Palestine itself was 
occupied by seven independent nations at the time of invasion by 
the Children of Israel. In his conquest of Palestine, Joshua claims 
to have encountered and overcome " Kings thirty and one " 
(Joshua xii, 24). 

^T'rocceding now farther towards the east, we may note as we 
go the " Babel of tongues and peoples " to be found in the valleys 
of the Caucasus and the Ihyats of Persia, formerly divided into 
seventy-three tribes, 23 and so reach the valleys and uplands at the 
western end of the Himalayas. Here we find the most extensive 
paradise of robust, independent tribes in all the world. 24 Between 
the Indus and Afghanistan are five millions of people grouped in 
warlike tribes ; in Afghanistan itself, and also in Baluchistan, the 
former tribal organization is still traceable ; on the Pamir, and in 
the western valleys of the Himalayas, separate peoples and tongues 
are to be counted by the score. If we make our way to the Far 
East, crossing Tibet to reach the mountainous lands which lie to 
the south of China, we meet with a bewildering assortment of 
peoples and tongues; some have merely the status of a local 
group; many are separate village communities; others are 
tribes; while some have reached a status which may be called 
national. " From* the north-western Himalayas to the south- 
eastern extremity of Farther India," wrote that most able anthro- 
pologist A. H. K^ane, 25 " I have collected nearly a thousand names 
of clans, septs and fragmentary groups and am well aware that 
the list neither is, nor ever can be, complete, the groups being in a 
constant state of fluctuation." 


In the days of Jenghis Khan the Mongols were divided into 
226 clans out of which forty confederacies had been formed. 
The Manchus at the time of their conquest of China were divided 
into sixty tribes. The early history of tribalism in China is 
unknown, but the strong spirit of localism manifested by her half- 
million village communities may be taken as evidence that the 
Chinese still retain a particularist mentality. In contrast to 
China, India still retains abundant evidence of a tribal distribu- 
tion of her original population. The castes of India are self- 
governed, closed societies, tribal in their organization. Indeed, 
it is often difficult to say whether a particular community is to be 
called a caste or a tribe. There are 2,378 tribes and castes in 
India, 26 and 225 languages are spoken. 

A few instances will serve to show the multi-partite distribution 
of die peoples of Australasia. In the small island of Timor, Dr. 
H. O. Forbes found, when he visited it in 1884, 27 that forty 
languages were spoken. In the eastern half of the island, under 
Portuguese rule, there were forty-seven independent States, each 
under its Rajah. Evidently the number of States and tongues has 
undergone a reduction, for in a Report issued in 1944 28 Dr. 
Mendes Correa gives the number of separate tongues as eight, 
and the number of dialects as fifteen, while hr •• ,akes no mention 
of separate States. In the small compass of the northern peninsula 
of the island of Celebes a conglomeration of separate tribes is 
kept apart by having twelve different tongues. No census has 
yet been made of the social anits of the great island of New 
Guinea; they must run into hundreds; some are tribes, others 
are separate village communities. " In the New Hebrides and in 
New Caledonia," as J. Macmillan Brown reported in 1916, 29 
" each village has its own dialect " — evidence that these com- 
munities keep apart. We are also ignorant of the number of 
tribes into which the aborigines of Australia were divided before 
the white settlement began. If we accept 3 00,000 as the number of 
aborigines in virgin Australia, which is the customary estimate, 
and assign 150 to the average tribe, the original number of tribes 
would have been about 2,000; probably an underestimate. 

A few examples from the New World will suffice to illustrate 
the tribal constitution of its pre-Columbian population. In the 
census of the United States for 1910, Prof. R. B. Dixon prepared a 
detailed Report on the Indian population, which at that time 


numbered 305,000. The tribes represented by this population 
numbered 280; of these, seventy-seven had a membership of 
five hundred or more ; forty-two were reduced to a following of 
ten or less. What is now the State of California gave a home to 
101 tribes; Alaska had sixty-six, besides forty " local groups " of 
Eskimo. Some of the Indian tribes were very large — the 
Cherokees,for example, numbering over 30,000 — but the average 
was about 2,000. As with Rome and Greece, so with Ancient 
Mexico and Peru ; in all four cases there is clear evidence of an 
early tribal constitution. Regarding South America, I shall 
content myself with citing the list of tribes inhabiting the basin of 
the Amazon, prepared by Sir Clements Markham in 1910. 30 
After purging his list of synonyms, the final number he reached, 
for this area, was 485. In the extreme south, in Tierra del Fuego, 
the native Yahgans still live in separate local groups, as do the 
Eskimo in the extreme north. Thus, in the native population 
of the New World every stage in the evolution of human 
groups was represented, from local communities to organized 

Africa is a continent of tribes, but it would take me too far 
afield to attempt a systematic survey of them. 31 In 1930 the 
population of Tanganyika Territory, numbering five millions, 
was divided into 117 tribes. 32 In Northern Rhodesia eighty-one 
tribes have been enumerated. Dr. W. Hambly 33 gives a list of 
117 tribes in the Congo basin and another of sixty-three for tribes 
in Uganda and Nyasaland. According to Keane there were 
108 Sudanese tribes; the Berber tribes of the High Atlas number 
twenty (Prichard). The Dutch on their first arrival in South 
Africa came in contact with the Hottentots and Bushmen. 
" The original Hottentots," Prichard has noted, 34 " were a 
numerous people, divide^ into many tribes . . . with flocks and 
herds." The numbers in a tribe varied from several hundreds to a 
couple of thousand. 35 Bushmen, on the other hand, were dis- 
tributed in local groups, thus retaining what I suppose to be the 
original organization of mankind. Some of the peoples living in 
the more remote parts of Uganda appear also to have retained a 
separate local grouping. 36 Even when confederated into king- 
doms, as in modern Uganda, or in the kingdoms which arose in 
the region of Lake Chad in the fifteenth century, the African 
peoples retain a tribal organization. Thus in modern Africa we 


find every stage in tribal evolution from the local group to a 
federal tribal kingdom. 

We have now completed a hurried circuit of the globe, and the 
evidence we have met with supports the contention that all Irving 
peoples are now, or were originally, divided into small separate 
units or groups. The conditions of life in the primal period, when 
mankind depended on the natural produce of the soil for a sub- 
sistence, made the existence of large local groups an impossibility. 
The evidence we have gathered, then, is in conformity with the 
postulates of the group theory. 

There is one source of evidence bearing on the particulate 
distribution of the early races of mankind which is only now 
becoming available — namely, that provided by the excavation of 
ancient sites of habitation. Archaeologists are finding that the 
distribution of stone tools and other remains of human culture in 
such sites are definitely localized. 37 This should be so if early 
mankind was separated into local groups. So far all the dis- 
coveries of fossil remains of early men favour a differentiation 
into local types. 38 ^ 

The new theory requires proof that mankind was divided into 
social groups, not only during the earliest stages of human 
evolution, but in its pre-human or simian stage. Darwin 
inferred it had been so when he wrote : " Judging from 
the analogy of the majority of the Quadrumana, it is probable 
that the early ape-like progenitors of man were likewise 
social." 39 The leading authority on this matter, Dr. C. R. 
Carpenter, 40 has declared that " all types of Primates which have 
been adequately studied in the field have been found to show the 
phenomenon of territorialism." Territorialism implies division 
into groups, each group occupying its own area of forest or jungle. 
Professor Hooton has recently summarized the evidence bearing 
on the group organization of the higher Primates. 41 

Such, then, is a summary of the evidence on which I rely when 
I assume that mankind, during the primal period of its evolution, 
was divided into an exceedingly great number of isolated social 


1 Johnston, T. B., and Robertson, J. A., A Historical Geography of the Clam of 
Scotland, 1899; Browne, Jas., A History of the Highlands and of the Clans of 
Scotland, vol. 4, 1852. 


2 Skene, Wm. F., Celtic Scotland, 1876. 

3 Brooke, F. A., The Science of Social Development, 1936. 

4 O'Dwyer, Sir Michael, The O'Dwyers ofKilnamanagh, 1933. 

5 Prichard, J. C, Physical History of Mankind, 1S41, vol. in, p. 138. 

6 Ibid., p. 67. ' ' 

7 Hubert, Henri, The Greatness and Decline of the Celts, 1934, p. 3. 

8 Hume, David, Essays and Treatises, 1772, vol. i, p. 457. 

9 Gibbon, E., Decline and Fall, Everyman ed., vol. i, p. 228. 

10 Whatmough, J., The Foundations of Roman Italy, 1937. 

11 Alton and Golicher, Spencer's Descriptive Sociology: The Romans, 1934. 

12 Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, 3rd ed., 1891. 

13 Paterson, W. R., Introduction to The Peoples of all Nations (Harms worth), 
vol. i, 1922. 

14 Durham, M. E., The Burden of the Balkans, 1905 ; Jour. Roy. Anthrop. 
Inst., 1909, vol. 39, p. 85. 

15 Latham, R. G., The Ethnology of Europe, 1852, p. 243. 

16 Niederle, L., La Race Slav, 1911, p. 24. 

17 Myres, Sir John, The Dawn of History, p. 58. 

18 Newberry, P. E., Nature, 1923, vol. 112, p. 940; Murray, G. W., Sons oj 
Islunael, 1935. * 

19 Muiray, G. W., see under reference 18. 

; 20 Garstang, J., The Hiltite Empire, 1929. Harmsworth's Universal History, 
ch. 23. 
'^ Sykes, Mark, Join. Roy. Antlirop. Inst., 1908, vol. 38, p. 451. 

22 Epstein, E., Palest. Explor. Quart., 1939, vol, 71, p. 59. 

23 Prichard, J. C, Physical History of Mankind, 3rd ed., vol. iv, p. 57. 

24 Keane, A. H., Man : Past and Present, new ed., 1920, p. 543. 

25 Ibid., p. 185. 

26 O'Malley, D. S. S., Indian Caste Customs, 1932. 

27 Forbes, H. O., Jour. Roy. Anthrop. Inst., 1884, vol. 13, p. 402. 

28 Correa, A. A. Mendes, Timor Portuges, 1944. 

29 Brown, J. Macmillan, Man, 1916, p. 113. 

30 Keanc, A. H, Man : Past and Present, new ed., 1920, p. 347. 

31 Keith, Sir A., Jour. Roy. Anthrop. Inst., 1916, vol. 46, p. 10. 

32 Handbook, issued by the Govt, of Tanganyika Territory, 1930. 

33 Hambly, W. D., Source-Book for African Anthropology, Field Museum, 


34 Prichard, J. C, Physical History of Mankind, vol. i, p. 180. 

35 Thcal, G. McCall, History and Ethnography of Africa South of the Zambesi, 

36 Wayland, E. J., Jour. Roy. Anthrop. Inst., 193 1, vol. 61, p. 187; Roscoe, 
Rev. J., ibid., 1909, vol. 39, p. 181. 

37 Childe, V. Gordon, The Dawn of European Civilization, 2nd ed., 1938; 
Daniel, G. E., An Essay on Anthropological Method, 1943. 

38 McCown and Keith, The Stone Age of Mount Carmel, vol. 2, 1939. 

39 Darwin, C, Tlte Descent of Man, Murray, 1913, p. 166. 

40 Carpenter, C. R., Trans'. NfY. Acad. Sc, 1942, ser. ir, vol. 4, p. 254. 

41 Hooton, Professor E. A., Man's Poor Relations, 1942, p. 156. 



Synopsis. — Attitude of anthropologists to tribe and territory in 1921. 
Later it was recognized that territorialism occurs not only among 
primitive peoples, but pervades the animal world, and was therefore 
in existence long before man appeared. Evidence from Dr. Heape. 
Man, the frontier-maker. Trespass and territory. The bonds which 
bind a group to its territory. Ancestral spirits Us a bond. Although 
tribes are normally soil-bound, an urge to emigrate may aiisc. In the 
primal world of mankind we must assume that groups were both static 
and dynamic. The soil-bond is acquired, but its acquisition depgi-Js 
on an inborn aptitude. There is also a unirersalist disposition. The 
part played by territory in the machinery of human evolution. Darwin's 
observations among the Fuegians. Anthropoid apes have a sense of 
territory. Archaeological evidence of localism. Nomadic peoples 
have circumscribed bounds. A sense of territory is much older than a 
knowledge of kinship. 

My inquiries of 1916 1 left me convinced that early mankind had 
been separated into small social units or groups ; another surmise 
also proved true — namely, that each group, so far as information 
was available or could be obtained, hved on a delimited area of 
territory of which it counted itself the eternal owner. Why did 
I make this surmise? It was because I had conceived that if a 
group were to work out its evolutionary destiny, to develop its 
germinal potentialities, it must not only be kept from other 
groups, but must remain anchored to its homeland for a con- 
tinuity of generations. Ownership of territory would provide 
both these conditions. 

How far my fellows were from sharing in my beliefs may be 
illustrated by an extract from an address given in 1921 by one of 
the leading anthropologists of my time — Sir Baldwin Spencer : 2 



" The extraordinary number of tribes (of Australia), eacli with 
its own dialect and occupying its own country, is one of the 
most difficult things to explain in Australian ethnology." The 
conditions which my colleague found so difficult to explain were 
just those which I had been in search of in 1916 ; they are essential 
parts of the machinery of group evolution. 

At the time this is written (February, 1945) naturalists through- 
out the world recognize that group ownership of homeland — 
territorialism — is not a human prerogative, but pervades the whole 
of the animal kingdom. Early interest in this subject was 
certainly stimulated by Howard's observations on bird territories. 3 
Our present knowledge of this subject, as far as animals in general 
are concerned, has been summarized by Dr. Julian Huxley, 4 
and by Professor Allee, 5 so there is no need for me to touch on it, 
save to give one instance which illustrates the close similarity 
there is in the arrangement of bird and human territories : 
" Chaffinches in the southern U.S.S.R. can be distinguished solely 
on the basis of variation in song ; they are divided into well- 
defined populations, each confined to a given area." 6 I am 
tempted to correlate variations of song in bird groups with 
variations of dialect in human groups. 

My friend Dr. Walter Heape (1855-1929), who made many 
important additions to our knowledge of the sexual processes in 
animals, became interested in his later years in their migrations, 
hoping to trace a connection between the migratory impulse and 
the state of the sexual system. His inquiries led him to study the 
opposite of the migratory impulse — the tendency of animals to 
cling to their homelands. After his death in 1929 at the age of 
seventy-four, the data he had collected were edited and published 
by Dr. Marshall. 7 Two extracts from this work will put readers 
in touch with Dr. Heape's main conclusions : " What I aim at 
emphasizing is the fact that within the area over which a species is 
distributed, separate bodies or, as I shall call them, colonies of 
that species, occupy definite parts of that area, and rarely, if ever, 
leave that territory*' (p. 30). The above extract relates to animals 
in general ; the next bears on the law of territory as it affects 
man : " In fact, jt may be held that the recognition of territorial 
rights, one of the most •significant attributes of civilization, was 
not evolved by man, but has ever been -an inherent factor in the 
life history of all animals " (p. 74). 


I may usefully supplement these quotations, with which I am 
in complete agreement, with observations made by various 
authors bearing on the delimitation of tribal territories. Canon 
Pythian-Adams, describing the Arab tribes of the region of 
Mount Sinai, reports : " Even to-day the limits of tribal territory 
are laid down with remarkable clearness." 8 Spencer and 
Gillen, in their account of The Northern Tribes of Central 
Australia (1904), record " that from time immemorial the 
boundaries of the tribes have been where they are now fixed." 
After noting the diversity of the dialects spoken by the native 
tribes of Tasmania, Mr. Norman Walker adds : " Groups kept 
to their own territory; trespass meant war." 9 The following 
quotation from Malinowski refers to the village communities 
of the Trobriands : " The roaming grounds of every group are 
subject to exclusive, although collective, rights of this group." 10 
The identification of a tribe with its territory is shown by the 
Arab custom of using the same name for territory as for tribe ; 
the ancient Greeks had a similar custom. 11 

Man is the only animal that surrounds his territory by a de^ 
limited frontier ; a frontier is, to him, a matter of life and death; 
he regards it with a sentiment which is almost religious in its 
intensity. " To infringe boundaries of a neighbouring tribe," 
writes Keane, " is to break the most sacred law of the jungle and 
inevitably leads to war." 12 Every tribal boy has to learn from 
his elders the limits within whir!, he may roam and hunt, but 
there is something inborn in a joy's nature which makes him 
eager for such learning. At "<■ nat point of his evolution man 
turned a frontier-maker w- \.34i only guess ; certainly his faculties 
of conscious observation and of reasoning must have made a 
considerable advancement towards their present degree of pro- 
ficiency. Anthropoid apes, although they confine their wander- 
ings within a locality, have no sense of frontiers. The street 
dogs of Constantinople are said to have had a sense of territory and 
to have resented trespass; wolf-packs are also credited with a 
similar partiality. 1 ? Baboons resent intrusions oh the places where 
they sleep and breed, 14 but this is rather a manifestation of a sense 
of " home " than of territory. The robin resents the rival who 
trespasses on his " home " territory. 15 

The penalty inflicted on an uninvited or unaccredited stranger 
who crossed a tribal frontier of aboriginal Australia was death; 


all authorities are agreed on that. It was also the law in primitive 
tribal communities in other parts of the earth. One can under- 
stand why a tribe should resent and repel invasion of its territory 
by another tribe;- if it did not, then independent tribal life came 
to an end. That a tribe should seek to protect its game and the 
natural produce of its land is also understandable ; if it did not, 
it would starve. But why this resentment against a single, 
intruder? Here, I think, we are dealing, not with a trespass of 
territory, but with a trespass on the tribe or community. We 
shall see, when we come to deal with the manifestations of 
" group consciousness," that animal communities of all kinds 
resent the advent of " gate-crashing " strangers. It is to this 
ancient category of instinctive animal reaction that I would 
assign the practice of the Australian aborigine towards strangers. 
A group that was destitute of this reaction would be liable to 
germinal contamination. 

What are the bonds which bind a primitive group to its terri- 
tory? Every group, being surrounded by other groups, each 
jealous of its territory, may be said to be hemmed in, and thus 
confined to its territory. This is a negative bond, but there arc 
also those of a positive nature. There are mental bonds ; a deep 
affection binds a group to its soil. RadclifFe-Brown, who visited 
and studied the tribes of Western Australia, 16 has this to say about 
the attachment of a native to his locality: "Just as the country 
belonged to him, he belonged to it . . . wanted to die in it." 
So with the Bushman of South Africa ; "he is strongly attached 
to his territory." 17 Malinowski described these bonds in purely 
objective terms. " The Australian tribe," he wrote, " is bound 
to its territory by tradition, totemic cult, and initiation 
ceremonies." 18 Now, these terms are true as far as they go, but 
they leave out the main element of the bond — the ready, passion- 
ate response made by the Australian lad to his elders when they 
expound to him the sacredness of their soil. Love of one's native 
soil is the basal part of patriotism, and will be .dealt with when 
that subject is considered. Affection for locality of birth is 
instinctive in all social animals. 

Tribes are behind to their territory by a peculiarly human 
bond. Spencer and Gillejj 19 note that Australian tribes never 
invade the territory of a neighbour, and explain their behaviour 
thus : " No such idea ever enters the head of the Central 


Australian, because he believes that every territory is the home of 
the spirit ancestry of its original owners and is therefore useless 
to any one else." The belief that gods and ancestral spirits are 
endemic in their soil is held by tribal peoples in many parts of the 
world — in Melanesia, in North Burma, in India, and in West 
Africa — such peoples being thereby bound to their territories. 
There is a well-known Biblical record of this belief : " The 
nations which thou [the king of Assyria] has planted in the cities 
of Samaria know not the manner of the God of the land." 20 
The Marquis of Halifax (1633-95) touched the same theme when 
he declared there was a " divinity in the soil of England." 

So far I have been giving my reasons for believing that in the 
primal world human groups were rooted to the soil. If that had 
been the case — as it appears to have been in aboriginal Australia — 
then an enterprising group, multiplying in numbers and in 
power, would have had no advantage over its static neighbour. 
It was otherwise among the tribes of Gaul and ancient Germany ; 
tribes were normally bound to the soil, but from time to time a 
different and dynamic mood arose in them, which compelled 
them to pull up their roots and, by conquest, win a new aboae! 
For progressive evolutionary change both moods are needed : 
the steadfast mood which anchors a group to its territory, and the 
impetuous mood which urges change. I assume that both of 
these moods had their place in the primal world of mankind. 
The exodus of a people had a likeness to the mass migration of 
animals, a subject in which Dr. Heape was greatly interested and 
of which he wrote : 21 " There is surely some nervous excitement 
attending the proceeding, both during the preparation for exodus 
and during the progress of the journey. In some cases it would 
seem that a condition of hysteria is reached." 

In support of the soil-bond I might cite Walter Scott's patriotic 
lines :— '' 

Breathes there the man, with soul so dead, 

Who never to himself hath said, 

This is my own, my native land ! , 

But were I to bring Scott forward as a witness, I know that 
there are hundreds who would answer that, not. only was their 

soul dead," but, so far as concerned their native land, it had 
never been alive. 22 Patriotism, they declare, is an acquired 
passion. I agree with them. If I had been born in Ireland, I 


would have been a patriotic Irishman ; if in France, a patriotic 
Frenchman. But I could have been neither unless I had been born 
with that in me which answers the call of the soil. 

Yet I know that such is not the whole truth of this matter. 
Many of those who decry patriotism are moved by the high ideal 
that seeks the union of all peoples in a universal whole. There 
is, I admit, imbedded in human nature, a vague longing to lift the 
spirit of fellowship above the narrower limits of tribe, nation, 
and race, and this feeling seeks to replace the patriotic spirit. 
Human nature, as we shall try to prove in a future essay, is dual, 
and in patriotism versus universalism we have a contradiction 
which man's dual mentality makes possible. I ought to add that 
the spirit of patriotism — love of the soil — may die of starvation 
in the hearts of those born in great cities. 

I have been placing before my readers the grounds for believing 
that the primal world, inhabited by evolving mankind, was a 
chequerboard of territories on which the great game of evolution 
was played. We have now to inquire more minutely into the 
p^ft played by territory in that game. Let us begin with a 
modern instance. In 1933 gold was discovered in the native 
territory of Kenya, and natives were evicted in order that the 
gold might be mined. A writer in Nature 23 rightly protested 
against the eviction, and on the following grounds : (a) The land 
owned by a tribe is necessary for its subsistence ; (b) it is equally 
necessary for the solidarity of the tribe ; (c) dissolved from its 
territory a tribe's organization, its automatic form of government, 
falls to pieces ; and (d) the territory is the home of the living 
spirits of the ancestors of the evicted natives. Here, then, in a 
modern instance, we have brought home to us the part played by 
territory in securing the independent and continued existence of a 
tribal group ; without tgrritory a separate community could not 
work out its evolutionary destiny. Here, too, we have an 
illustration of the way in which civilization clears native inmates 
from their chequejboard territories to make room for larger units. 

It has always seemed to me a curious thing that Darwin, who 
was the first to observe the limitation of groups of primitive 
humanity to definite tracts of land, should never have attributed 
an evolutionary significaftce to his observations. His studies 
were made in December, 1832, when the Beagle landed in their 
native habitats three young Fuegians who had wintered in 


England to learn the ways of civilized man. 24 " The different 
tribes," wrote Darwin, then in his twenty-fourth year, " have no 
government or chief, yet each is surrounded by other hostile 
tribes, speaking different dialects, and separated" from each other 
only by a deserted border or neutral territory. ... I do not 
know anything which shows more clearly the hostile state of the 
different tribes than these wide borders or neutral tracts." These 
observations relate, not to organized tribes, but to local groups 
of humanity, living under the most primitive conditions, and 
reflects what I assume to have been the universal state in man's 
primal world. 

In the preceding essay I gave a quotation (p. 26) from Dr. 
Carpenter 25 to the effect that territorialism existed in all kinds 
of Primates which had been examined for this condition. We 
may presume, I think, that all the genera which emerged from 
the primate stem were subjected to group evolution, and that 
territorialism was in existence long before the differentiation of 
mankind. " The chimpanzees," records Dr. Heape (p. 67), 
" are, in fact, home-loving like all apes, and do not forsake jhe 
place in which they were born unless under special stress of 
circumstances." Dr. Carpenter also noted the fact " that gibbons 
are intolerant of trespass by other gibbons " — evidence that this 
anthropoid has a sense of territory. Professor Hooton of 
Harvard is one of the few writers who have discussed the possi- 
bility of a relationship between territorial grouping and evolution. 
After a review of the group distribution of Primates, he adds the 
following passage : — 

" It would appear that this primate tendency to maintain 
territoriality must be closely bound up with the differentia- 
tion of races, and varieties, and even species, by selection and 
inbreeding. . . . Further, it would seem necessary to 
postulate some such innate or acquired habit ... to 
account for the early differentiation of the physical varieties - 
of races of mankind." 28 

I quote this passage as evidence of the large measure of agreement 
there is between Professor Hooton and myself as to the part 
played by territory in the process of evolution. 

When dealing with the division of primitive mankind into small 
groups, in the preceding essay, I alluded to the light that archa> 


ologists are throwing on this problem (p. 26). Here I would 
add other instances where excavation of ancient sites provides 
evidence of localism and, presumably, of territory. For example, 
Mr. T. T. Paterson when examining stone industries (Clactonian, 
Ievallois) which have an antiquity of perhaps 100,000 years found 
evidence of " local industrialism." 27 Leslie Armstrong, in his 
investigation of tools of caveman of the Upper Palaeolithic period, 
observed that " industries display local differences." 28 Hubert 
records that in Lorainc tribal fortification of the early Iron Age 
can still be detected ; 29 and several other instances misht be cited. 

At the beginning of this essay I noted the fact that my con- 
temporaries were reluctant to accept the idea that primitive 
societies were small and stationary. 30 They were impressed by 
the migratory tendencies which have pervaded so many peoples 
during historical times, and they assume that this had also been the 
case with early men* I have indicated my reply to this objection 
in an earlier essay (p. 8). They were also impressed by the 
belief that nomadic peoples knew no bounds. As regards this 
matter Dr. Hcape came to the same conclusion in 1929 as I did 
in 1916. " The great majority of nomadic peoples and nomadic 
animals," he affirmed, " roam only over a definite territory " 
(p. 16). 

Perhaps the chief obstacle to the acceptance of my doctrine 
was the belief that then prevailed among anthropologists — namely, 
that the original groups of mankind were formed on the basis of 
kin — of blood relationship — and that it was at a later date that 
territory became a bond. The advocates of the priority of kin 
had the powerful support of Sir Henry Maine, Durkhcim, 
Andrew Lang, Marett, and of many others. 31 On the other 
hand, men like Haddon and Rivers, who based their opinions on 
observations made in tlje field and among primitive peoples, 
were convinced that, from the first, human groups were based on 
territory. From the evidence now available we cannot any 
longer doubt that the bond of territory is infinitely older than that 
of kin. The anthropoid mother knows her young child ; there 
is some evidence that she even recognizes her children until they 
reach a certain age, but man is the only animal that can trace blood 
relationships and is thereffoie capable of constructing genealogies. 
Man must have reached a considerable degree of mental capacity 
before he became genealogist. I would hazard the guess that 


man marked out frontiers before he constructed genealogies. 
And yet the fact remains that there are peoples in the world of 
to-day who are devoid of territory and yet, maintain their 
solidarity. Such peoples will come up for consideration when the 
evolution of races is discussed (Essay XXXVII). 


1 Keith, Sir A., Jour. Roy. Anthrop. Inst., 1916, vol. 46, p. 10. 

2 Spencer, Sir Baldwin, Presid. Add. Austral. Ass. Adv. Sc, 1921. 

3 Howard, Eliot, Territory in Bird Life, 1920. 

4 Huxley, Julian, Evolution : The Modern Synthesis, 1942, ch. V. 
B Alice, Prof. W. C, The Social Life of Animals, 1939, ch. V. 

6 Huxley, Julian, Nature, 1940, vol. 146, p. 43. 

7 Heapc, Walter, Emigration, Migration, and Nomadism, edited by F. H. A. 
Marshall, 193 1. 

8 Pythian-Adams, Canon, Palest. Explor. Quart., 1930, vol. 62, p. 192. 

9 Walker, N., Man, 1931, p. 51. 

10 Malinowski, B., Nature, 1925, vol. 116, p. 928. 

11 Thomson, Geo., Aeschylus and Athens, 1941. 

12 Keane, A. H., Man : Past and Present, new ed., 1920, p. 161. 

13 Reade, Carveth, The Origin of Man, 1920, p. 43. 

14 Marais, Eugene N., My Friends the Baboons, 1939. 

15 Lack, D., The Life of the Robin, 1943. 

16 Radcliffe-Brown, A. R., Jour. Roy. Anthrop. Inst., 1913, vol. 43, p. 143. 
17 Theal, G. McCall, History and Ethnography of Africa South of the Zambesi, 

vol. 1, 1907. 
18 Malinowski, B., Family Life among the Australian Aborigines, 1913, p. 153. 
10 Spencer and Gillen, The Northern Tribes of Central Australia, 1904, p. 30. 

20 2 ICings XVII, 25. 

21 Heape, Walter, see reference 7, p. 21. 

22 Fyfe, Hamilton, The Illusion of National Character, 1940. 

23 Nature, 1933, vol. 131, p. 37. 

24 Darwin, C, The Voyage of the Beagle, ch. X, p. 216. 

25 Carpenter, C. R., Trans. N.Y. Acad. Sc, 1942, ser. 11, vol. 4, p. 248. 

26 Hooton, E. A., Man's Poor Relations, 1942, p. 331. 

27 Paterson, T. T., Proc. Prehist. Soc, 1937, vol. 3, p. 87. 

28 Armstrong, A. Leslie, Mem. & Proc. Manchester Lit. Phil., 1939, vol. 83, 
p. no. 

2S * Hubert, Henri, The Greatness and Decline of the Celts, 1934. 

30 Hawkes, C. F. C, Man, 1942, p. 125 ; Poynter, C. W. M., Anter. Anthrop., 
1915, vol. 17, p. 509; Stone, J. F. S., Proc. Prehist. Soc, 1941, vol. 7, p. 114. 

31 The evidence was summarized by Moret and Davy in From Tribe to 
Empire, trans, by V. Gordon Childe, 1926. 



Synopsis. — Group spirit defined. Sympathy, which is the basis of the 
group spirit, is confined to communities of a species, and docs not 
extend to the species as a ivhole. This is true of human and of animal 
groups, and is presumably true of the primal groups of humanity. 
Consciousness of kind : its various applications. " Like will to 
like " examined. Man's social appetite as a driving force. Primal 
groups were " closed", societies. Aversion to strangers: a genetical 
explanation. How far the group spirit is inborn, and how far acquired. 
The dual spirit generates a dual code of morality. Group formation 
leads to group selection. Evolution in the primal world of humanity 
was mainly a group or team selection. There was no colour bar in the 
ancient world. The group spirit ivas evolved from the family spirit. 

I am seeking to build up a picture of the life led by mankind during 
the primal age, the age which saw man attain his manhood. In 
the two preceding essays evidence has been given for believing 
that mankind was then divided into small groups, and that each 
group occupied its own tract of land. In this essay we are to 
inquire into the means which keep members of a group together 
and, at the same time, keep them apart from surrounding territorial 
groups. These means, we shall find, are embedded in man's 
mental nature. There is a disposition or spirit in every man 
which leads him to extend his sympathy, his goodwill, and 
fellowship to the members of his group ; he is also conscious of 
his membership and feels that his own life is part of that of his 
group. To this bundle of mental traits, which gives unity to a 
group and separation from other groups, I am applying the term 
" group spirit," which has thus much the same connation as 
" esprit de corps." Group-spirit induces a certain form or pattern 
of behaviour; this form of behaviour I shall speak of as 
" clannishness," 



Having thus defined the terms I am to use, I now turn to the 
evidence which permits us to assume that a group spirit prevailed 
in the small communities of primal man. As usual, Darwin 
supplies the most telling evidence. " Sympathy," he notes-, 
" is directed solely towards members of the same community, 
and therefore towards known, and more or less loved members, 
but not to all individuals of the same species." x Primitive groups 
being small, their members were known to one another by personal 
contact. Darwin was of the opinion that " the confinement of 
sympathy to the same tribe " was one of the chief causes of the 
low morality of savages. 2 In this instance Darwin viewed tribal 
life from the point of view of a civilized observer. Two further 
quotations from Darwin will throw additional light on group 
mentality. " Primeval man regarded actions as good or bad, 
solely as they obviously affected the welfare of the tribe — not 
that of the species, nor that of an individual member of the 
tribe." 3 Writing of living tribal peoples he notes that " the 
virtues are practised almost exclusively in relation to the men of 
the same tribe," while the corresponding vices " are not regarded 
as crimes " if practised on other tribes. 4 Darwin's observations 
have been confirmed over and over again by travellers who have 
studied primitive groups of mankind at first hand. On such 
evidence we have grounds for assuming that the small com- 
munities of early man were also swayed by a group spirit. 

When that evidence is supported by the knowledge that all 
social animals whatsoever, be they ants or be they apes, are 
subjects of the group spirit, we may assume with a high degree 
of assurance that man's simian ancestors and the earliest forms of 
man were also its subjects. In' the following passage Darwin 
refers to social animals : — 

For the social instincts lead an' animal to take pleasure 
in the society of its fellows, to feel a certain amount of 
sympathy with them and to perform certain services for 
them . . . but these feelings and services are by no means 
extended to all the individuals of the same species, only to 
those of the same association." 5 

Darwin was by no means the first to-, note that mutual sympathy 
did not extend to all members of a species, but was limited to 
groups of a species. A wise and observant Scottish judge, Henry- 


Home of Karnes (1696-1782), noted that in animals " affections 
are limited to a community " and not to the species. " Every 
species," he continues, " is divided into small tribes . . . which 
do not associate," - and then he proceeds to cite examples he had 
observed. He also makes the pertinent remark that the size of a 
group is determined by two circumstances : it must be big enough 
for its defence and not too big for its provender. 6 Later, he 
continues : " The social appetite in man comprehends not the 
whole species but a part only, as among animals. One of 
moderate extent invigorates every manly virtue . . . nature has 
wisely limited the social appetite." 7 

Thus we find that every species of social animal is divided into 
independent groups ; that each group is dominated by a separatist, 
self-regarding group spirit; that competition, selection, and 
survival involve a struggle, not between species, but between 
groups of the same "species. Such, we must assume, was the 
state of evolutionary conditions on the chequerboard of primal 

The group theory, then, assumes that in all social animals — 
and man is eminently such — there is an instinctive or inborn urge 
to the formation of social groups. Group spirit is the mental 
machinery involved in group formation. As a label for this 
machinery Prof. Franklin Giddings, 8 towards the end of the 
nineteenth century, gave the name " consciousness of kind," 
intending to give a more precise meaning to the term 
" sympathy " as used by Adam Smith. 9 Giddings's use of this 
term will best be made clear by quoting one of his illustrations : 
" The southern gentleman who believed in the cause of the Union, 
none the less threw his fortune with the Confederacy, if he felt 
himself to be one of the southern people and a stranger to the 
people of the North." .The southern gentleman was pitting 
reason against his inborn sympathy, and his " consciousness of 
kind," or group spirit, won. Professor Giddings cites the social 
groups or communities which were formed as civilization spread 
westwards across the United States, groups containing repre- 
sentatives of many European nations. In such cases association 
made unlike kinds into compact social groups. A group was 
formed, not because its members were conscious of kind, but 
because all were inheritors of the group spirit of early man. 

It is important to note that Professor Giddings applies his term 


to a much wider field than is included under the term group 
spirit. He applies it to the recognition which members of the 
same species display towards one another, as dog to dog, or cat to 
cat, or man to man. Now, such recognition is quite different 
from that which leads a member of a group to recognize fellow 
members. Social sympathy, even among animals, is confined to 
fellow members, and one may assume it was also so among the 
groups of primitive, evolving humanity. 

Our main concern in this essay is with the mentality which 
controlled group organization in man's primal world. There are, 
however, in modern mankind certain mental exhibitions of a 
group-forming tendency which will repay consideration here. 
" Like will to like " is a truism which has come down to us from 
the ancient Greeks. We see this aphorism illustrated in the cities 
of the East, where each nation or sect occupies its own quarter. 
We see it again in the cities of the New World, where immigrants 
from the Old World seek out groups of their fellow nationals. 
Like has sought out like, and in such instances we may attribute 
such preferences to " consciousness of kind " or to group 
spirit. But in the following instances of like seeking out like we 
move into another class of phenomena. Darwin records 
instances of animals of a particular breed, or those possessing 
certain markings, preferring mates of the same breed or mark- 
ings. 10 Julian Huxley gives an instance of a similar preference in 
a human community. 11 Among the Indians of the Panama 
there is a community of albino or " white " natives ; the sur- 
rounding coloured Indians have " a feeling against marrying 
white " ; so the whites are left to mate together. " Here in 
man himself," adds Dr. Huxley, " is a case showing with almost 
diagrammatic clarity how evolutionary change may originate." 
Darwin's examples, and Huxley's, arr cases of sexual selection 
apparently based on a recognition or consciousness of kind, but 
the purpose served has nothing to do with the formation and 
maintenance of social groups. 

There is one circumstance underlying the group spirit which 
is in need of emphasis. This spirit assumes the existence of 
man's social appetite and the need of satisfying that appetite 
by seeking its gratification in the company of his fellows ; without 
that appetite there could be no group formation. This is true of 
all social animals, and we may therefore assume it to hold for the 


most primitive of men. It is only when human beings are 
deprived of all contact with their fellows that they learn what the 
compelling force of social- starvation really is. We may safely 
assume that our 'most remote ancestors were thus constituted, 
and that the member who strayed from his group was urged 
back to it by social hunger ; and so groups were kept intact. 

There is another assumption which may be made with a high 
degree of safety as regards the primal groups of mankind — namely, 
that each group formed a " closed society," the only entrance into 
it being by birth, although entrance by adoption cannot be alto- 
gether excluded. Farmers know very well that their field herds 
resent the introduction of strangers and seek to exclude them from 
their midst, even strangers of exactly the same breed. If, how- 
ever, the original herd is turned on fresh pastures, previously 
unknown to it, and before the strangers are added, the strangers 
will be more readily accepted, which suggests that a sense of 
territory may also be concerned. 12 Dr. Carpenter, who has 
made a special study of monkey groups, observed that intruding 
stringers were forcibly expelled, although he did see one persistent 
young male ultimately accepted by a group. 13 The native colony 
of Gibraltar apes, having become depleted in numbers, was 
reinforced by animals of the same species introduced from 
Africa. All the introduced apes, save a strong male, were killed 
by the original colonists. 14 A female gibbon that had been some 
time in captivity was released by her owner in her native forest in 
Java near a group of her own species ; she was driven off by the 
group. Seeing how prevalent an antipathy to strangers is among 
primate groups, it is highly probable that it was also a trait of the 
earliest human groups. 

" No propensity," asserts Lord Karnes, " is more general in 
human nature than aversion to strangers." 15 He then asks a 
question: "What good end can this perversion promote?" 
The question can be put in another form : Why are the groups 
formed by social animals in a state of nature maintained as closed 
societies? An explanation can be given on genetic grounds. If 
we regard a group as having been separated from other groups in 
order to inbreed'and so to work out the evolutionary potenti- 
alities of its genes, then we'can see why it should resent instinc- 
tively the intrusion of outsiders bringing with them strange 
genes. The rejection of strangers might also be explained on 


social grounds : if they came in numbers they would disrupt the 
automatic government of the group. Epinas was in the right 
when he averred that " hatred of strangers is an index of tribal 
consciousness." 18 He might well have added that the friendly 
reception of strangers could be used as an indication of the degree 
to which the " old Adam " of the group spirit has been eradicated 
from man's nature by civilization. 

We come now to a question of the highest importance. Is the 
group spirit which we are attributing to primitive communities of 
mankind, and which pervades the mod em world under the name of 
" race consciousness," an instinct born in a child's nature, or is 
it acquired as the child grows up ? Darwin's answer is equivocal. 
He emphasized the limitation of sympathy to the members of a 
group, and added, " Sympathy, although gained as an instinct, is 
also strengthened by exercise and habit." 17 Now, every social 
group, whether simian or human, is a school in which the young 
absorb the traditions, the customs, the habits, the prejudice:, and 
modes of behaviour of the group. A child sees the group spirit at 
work as it grows up, and accepts a clannish behaviour as part ofits 
heritage. Mr. J. H. Taylor, 18 Dr. Raymond Firth, 19 Julian 
Huxley, 20 and many more, regard the manifestations of the 
group spirit or race consciousness as the result of what the young 
learn in the school of the tribe. Bring a white boy up in a Bantu 
tribe, and the boy will have the group spirit of a Bantu tribesman. 
Those authors, in my opinion, have considered only one side of 
the problem — namely, the direction or complexion taken by the 
group spirit. They have concentrated their attention on the 
product and forgotten the producer, which is an inborn disposi- 
tion. Can it be said that sympathy, winch is a disposition to 
surfer with, and to aid others, and which is the basis of the group 
spirit, is an acquired quality of human ^nature ? The disposition 
to sympathize is certainly inborn, but, as Darwin contended, it 
can be strengthened by example and practice. 

It may be asked in reply : why is sympathy and the group spirit ' 
limited to a community? Is that not a result of tuition or ex- 
ample? Let us see t what we can learn of this matter by noting 
the action of this spirit in herds of cattle. - When Darwin 
was on the Beagle, he visited a large rdnch in Uruguay, so that he 
might acquaint himself with the management of large herds of 
cattle. When feeding, the animals formed groups, each group 


having a membership varying from forty to a hundred; the 
membership of each group was constant; the cattle discriminated 
between their own and other groups. " During a stormy night," 
adds Darwin, " the cattle all mingle together, but next morning 
the, tropillas (or groups) separate as before ; so that each animal 
must know its fellows out of ten thousand others." a Here, 
then, we see the group spirit at work among social animals, 
controlled by an innate disposition or instinct and not by a taught 
or acquired tradition. May we not assume, then, that the group 
disposition or spirit was also inborn in the most primitive forms 
of humanity? In them, we must presume, it was moulded and 
biased by the tradition and the teaching of the groups. 

It will thus be seen that the group spirit implies a discrimination 
between groups. A tribesman's sympathies lie within the 
compass of his own tribe ; beyond his tribe, begin his antipathies ; 
he discriminates in fevour of his own tribe and against all others. 
This means also that the tribesman has two rules of behaviour, 
one towards those of his group and another to the members of 
other groups. He has a dual code of morality : a code of 
"amity " for his fellows ; a code of indifference, verging into 
" enmity," towards members of other groups or tribes. Seeing, 
then, that all social animals are subject to the group spirit, and 
that it brings about a dual code of morality, may we not assume 
that on the chequerboard of the primal world the same spirit 
animated evolving groups of mankind? 

The question now arises : Why was primitive humanity 
divided into small, separate, contending groups? My answer is 
that which both Darwin and Wallace gave — namely, that men 
who were arranged in groups or teams, each dominated by a 
spirit of unity, would conquer and outlive men who were not 
thus grouped. In brief, human evolution was, and is, a process of 
team production and team selection. No doubt, in our primal 
world there was individual selection within each team or group, 
but it was the team worker rather than the strong individualist 
who was favoured. In this way the group spirit played a leading 
role as a factor in human evolution. 

In this essay. J have kept flitting between the ancient and 
modern world of humanity, carrying facts and assumptions from 
the one to throw light on the other. Continuing my argument 
along these lines, I would now call attention to the fact that, in the 


modem world, at the time history begins, each large area was 
inhabited by its own physical variety of mankind. If we take 
the area of Mongolian distribution, for example, and beginning 
on the Arctic shores with our steps turned in a southward direc- 
tion, we shall meet as we proceed no sharp break in the physical 
type until we reach the shores of Australia. The type with 
which we begin is very different from that with which we end, 
yet the change is so gradual that nowhere can we distinguish one 
local community from another by physical criteria. Now, I 
assume that the distribution of mankind in the ancient world was 
similar. Adjacent local groups were of the same physical type; 
their differences were cultural; each group had its dialect, its 
customs, its traditions; each had its own spirit. Nowhere was 
there a colour bar ; only in recent times have communities of black 
and white been brought into juxtaposition. When such com- 
munities are brought to live side by side, the community spirit is 
apt to assume a new fierceness and receives another name, " race 
consciousness." To this aspect of the group spirit I shall return 
when I come to deal with the evolution of races (see Essay 
XXXV). The turbulent group or tribal spirit is here aggravated 
by the fact that the contestants have been fitted out by Nature in 
different physical uniforms. 

One other point concerning man's group spirit deserves con- 
sideration before this essay is brought to a close. Can any 
rational explanation be given of how it became a constituent 
element in human nature? I regard it as an extension of the 
family spirit, the spirit or disposition which leads the members of 
a human family, both parents and children, to discriminate 
between their own and other families. The members of a 
normal family are prejudiced in favour of one another. Their 
attitude towards their own family is different from that which 
they hold to other families. They resent the intrusion of 
strangers to a place in the family circle. When children 
graduate from parental control to take their place in the .life of 
their group, the family feeling or spirit expanefs so as to embrace 
all the members of a group, as if the group had become their 
family. As Darwin and many others have maintained, the 
mental bonds which hold a family together gave rise to those 
which unite members of a social group or tribe. 



1 Darwin, C, The Descent of Man, Murray, 1913. ch. IV, p. 162. 
2 Ift</., p. 183. 
3 Ibid., p. 182. 
i Ibid., p. 179. 
6 Ibid., p. 150. 

6 Home, Henry (Lord Karnes), Sketches of the History of Man, new. ed. 
1813, vol. 2, p. 12. 

7 Ibid., p. 21. 

8 Giddings, Franklin H., The Principles of Sociology, 1898, p. 17. 

9 Smith, Adam, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, sect. I, ch. I-V. 

10 Darwin, C, Animals and Plants under Domestication, vol. 2, ch. XIV. 

11 Huxley, Julian, Nature, 1924, vol. 114, p. 464. 

12 Hunter, John, Essays and Observations, edited by Sir Richard Owen, 1861, 
vol. 1, p. 51. 

13 Carpenter, C. R., Trans. NY. Acad. Sc, 1942, ser. n, vol. 4, p. 248/ 

14 The Field, Feb. 8, 1913, p. 283. 

16 Home, Henry, see under reference 6, pp. 23, 30. 

16 Epinas, Alfred, Dei Sociith Animales, 1877, new ed. 1925. 

17 See under ref. 1, p. 934. 

18 Taylor, J. G., Popular Psychological Fallacies, 1938, p. 243. 

19 Firth, Raymond, We, The Tikopia, 1936, pp. 129, 342. 

N* 20 Haddon, A. C. and Huxley, Julian S., We Europeans, 1935, p. 233. 
21 Darwin, C, A Naturalist's Voyage round the World, ch. VIII, p. 144. 



Synopsis. — Group spirit and patriotism compared. Patriotism con- 
sidered under three heads: (a) its relationship to group territory; 
(b) its relationship to the life of the group, to the fighting spirit, and to 
loyalty; (c) its relationship to group status. Qualities which have 
been ascribed to patriotism. Patriotism as a factor in evolution. 
Patriotism is made up of two elements: the one is mental and is inbred; 
the other is educative and is acquired. Patriotic feelings may remain 
latent. Patriotism is an expansion of the individual instinct of self- 
preservation. The relation of fear to patriotism. Patriotism has a 
kinship with religion. Group spirit and patriotism are based in 
partiality — a congenital warping of the judgment. Patriots obey a 
dual code of morality. It may be said that evolutionary procedure is 
based on injustice. Chauvinism. 

In the preceding essay we examined the mental machinery which 
breaks social animals into groups or communities, and which 
serves to maintain each group as a separate unit. Seeing that this 
mental machinery, the group spirit, is of ancient origin, we have 
presumed that the groups of early humanity were also under its 
sway. In this essay we are concerned with another set of mental 
activities — namely, those which serve to safeguard and protect 
the group which, when danger threatens from without, or from 
within, muster forces for the defence of the group. This set of 
mental activities, which automatically arms the members of a 
group in its defence, is known as patriotism. Since such defensive 
mental reactions are to be observed in social animals of all kinds, 
we may safely presume that patriotism had a -place among the 
primal communities of mankind. 

Patriotism is an exaggerated and prejudiced form of affection 
which is manifested by members of a group or tribe in at least 
three directions. First, it leads to the development of special 



bonds of affection between a group and its home territory, and so 
anchors it to its homeland. The homeland may be bare and 
barren, but, in the eyes of the native, patriotism turns it into 
the best and most desirable of all lands. The alchemy of love, 
working in the fevered brain of Don Quixote, turned a plain 
country wench into a princess. So the alchemy of patriotism, 
working in the brain of a tribesman, converts a moorland into a 
paradise. The more a man loves a thing the more ready is he 
to defend it, to fight for it, and, if need be, to sacrifice his life to 
save it. Thus is the territory of a group safeguarded and the 
integrity of the group preserved. Patriotism provides the group 
with a mental armour for the defence of its homeland. Seeing 
that all social animals manifest a predilection for their native 
habitat, we may presume that the primal groups of humanity 
had a special attachment to their homelands and were in this 
sense patriotic. The blackbird which risks her life to save her 
nest and brood from the maw of a prowling cat gives an exhibition 
of blind patriotism. 

e/V tribesman's patriotic bias is not confined to the care of his 
homeland; it extends to his group or tribe and to everything 
connected with the tribe — to its welfare, to its prosperity, to its 
safety, and to its good name and fame. The tribal totem, or 
god, he regards as more powerful than other totems or gods; 
his tribal speech, customs, manners, and ways of life are superior 
to all others. In times of peace the patriotic feeling or spirit is 
more or less at rest. But when the life of the tribe is threatened, 
these feelings rise to fever heat; they become a violent*passion 
which takes control of the tribesman's will and forces it blindly on 
to action. Nex,t door, as it were, to the feelings which support 
the patriotic impulse are those which sustain man's fighting spirit, 
which supplies the physical force needed in defence of the group. 
Thus man's patriotism lies at the root of war. As every group or 
community of social animals is provided with a mental machinery 
for its defence, we may safely assume that the very earliest groups 
of humanity were not destitute of it. The male gorilla mani- 
fests patriotic feelings when his group is in danger, for he then 
turns on, and attacks, the assailant, and kills or is killed, so that 
his group may live. • 

There is an aspect of patriotism which deserves special con- 
sideration. We have already noted that it involves a strong and 


constant partiality in a man for everything connected with his 
group. This is especially true of his attitude to the elders or 
leaders of his group, or, if leadership has passed into the care of 
chief or king, then to chief or king. The leaders being at the 
centre of group defence, we should expect patriotic devotion to 
go out to them in special measure. So it does, only it takes a 
peculiar form — the form known as fidelity or loyalty. Loyalty 
is a blind, prejudiced, unswerving, unreasoned attachment to 
those in command. Yet I do not regard loyalty as a constituent 
part of patriotism. In this I am in opposition to a very clear 
thinker, Prof. W. G. Sumner, who defined patriotism as " loyalty 
to one's group." 1 Loyalty is akin to patriotism and, like the 
fighting spirit, is a close adjunct to it. Loyalty finds its natural 
place in the leadership and organization of a group, and will come 
up for further consideration when these subjects are discussed in 
a later essay. (See Essay XII.) 

There is a third aspect of patriotism to which I attach a high 
importance. It imbues the members of a group with a sense of 
pride in their membership; it fosters the conviction in their 
minds that their group is the paragon of groups. This was the 
aspect of patriotism which caught Darwin's attention in the 
person of Jimmy Button, a Fuegian lad who was carried back to 
his native land on board the Beagle. " He was of a patriotic 
disposition," Darwin notes, " and he liked to praise his own tribe 
and country, in which he truly said there were plenty of trees, 
and he abused all the other tribes ; he stoutly declared there was no 
devil in his land." a An Australian aborigine has the conviction 
that his tribe is the hub of the universe. Westermarck 3 found 
this type of tribal exaltation among all native peoples, so we may 
venture to ascribe it to the groups of humanity which peopled 
the world in primal times. 

It will have been noted that Jimmy Button's patriotic feelings 
gave vent, not only to praise of his own tribe, but led him on to 
decry all neighbouring tribes. Patriotism leads on to emulation, 
to jealousy, to competition between neighbouring tribes, and is 
thus a source of contempt and of strife. No tribesman, or band of 
tribesmen, will remain unmoved if they hear «any aspersion cast 
on their tribe. The good faith of a tribe, its honour, its status or 
place among other tribes, and the superiority of its god or totem 
are sacrosanct ; such convictions must not be questioned by any- 


one outside the tribe or even within it. Thus patriotism incites 
an unending contest for tribal status. " Patriotism," said the 
late J. M. Robertson, " is pride of power ... a banal pride." 4 
Certainly pride of power moves the heart of the modern patriot, 
and one may suspect that power or prowess was equally potent in 
ancient days. Patriotism gives to a tribe a feeling of invincibility, 
a valuable asset for any human community involved in the struggle 
for survival. 

McDougall describes patriotism as " a master sentiment," 5 
and seeing that in the throes of war it can and does overcome the 
strongest of man's instincts, that of self-preservation, this descrip- 
tion must be regarded as valid. Hankins regards it as " the most 
powerful of social forces." 6 " The supreme value of patriotism," 
wrote Martin Conway, " is not in provoking hostility, or resisting 
the rivalry of other countries, but in its unifying, nation-making 
force." 7 George Oarwell says of patriotism that " as a positive 
force there is nothing to set beside it." 8 Gibbon regarded 
patriotism as " a public virtue," and as " a source of strength in 
war." 9 I look on patriotism as an heirloom which has come down 
to modern man from a very remote past. 

We have now to seek for an answer to the important question : 
In what way does patriotism serve as a factor in producing new 
types of mankind? Let us proceed on the assumption that 
primitive humanity was separated into exclusive, self-contained 
groups; such separation permitted each group to work out 
its own germinal potentialities. To do that, each group must 
be master of its own independence; only as an independent 
unit can a group work out its evolutionary destiny, and it 
must maintain that independence over countless generations. 
Patriotism is the safeguard of independence ; it is its bulwark. 
It is the guardian of the territory of the group, for if the homeland 
is lost the group is scattered. Patriotism seeks to maintain the 
integrity of a group ; it comes to the rescue when an external 
attack is threatened and when internal disruption is feared. It 
works so as to secure the welfare and prosperity of a community. 
Being based on a partiality or congenital squint of the mind, 
patriotism tends to engender opposition and animosity in neigh- 
bouring groups, and this fosters the jealous and competitive 
spirit which exists between neighbouring groups. In all these 
ways patriotism serves as a factor in human evolution. Adam 


Smith, in discussing the operations of patriotism as seen among 
modern nations, has this to say of it : ' Independent and neigh- 
bouring nations, having no common superior to decide their 
disputes, all live in continual dread and suspicion of one another. 
. . . Each nation foresees, or imagines that it foresees, its own 
subjugation in the increasing power of its neighbours." 10 I am 
of the opinion that this description of patriotism among modern 
nations may be freely transferred to the ancient groups in man's 
primal world. 

Are we to count those prejudiced feelings and modes of action 
which go to the composition of patriotism as aptitudes which are 
built into the constitutions of our brains, are ready-made at birth, 
as it were, or are they merely due to a bent or inclination we 
acquire as we grow up ? My answer is that the predisposition to 
regard with favour what is our own is an aptitude born in us, 
but the direction that aptitude takes is a matter of education. Let 
us take the case of speech ; no one will deny that a child is born 
with an aptitude for speech, but the form of speech is determined 
by that of its group. I am persuaded that patriotism is of this 
dual nature. " Patriotism," F. S. Oliver has affirmed, ' is 
mainly instinctive; deliberate reason has nothing to do with it; 
it affects all classes, rich and poor." u " For indeed, who is 
there alive," asks Swift, " that would not be swayed by his bias 
and partiality to the place of his birth? " 12 Lord Karnes com- 
plains that patriotism " gives the vulgar too much partiality, 
while it is unbecoming in a man of rank." 13 Herein we have 
set before us the attitude towards patriotism of the educated 
European of the eighteenth century, an attitude shared by the 
cosmopolitan-minded of the present time. 

If patriotism is inborn, how are we to answer those writers and 
thinkers who declare they are free from it ? Sir Thomas Browne, 
for example, assures his readers : • " I feel not in myself those 
common antipathies that I can discover in others ; those national 
repugnances do not touch me, nor do I behold with prejudice 
the French, Italian, Spaniard, or Dutch." 14 "Was Sir Thomas, 
then, born deaf to the calls of patriotism? Or had he by dis- 
cipline and reason made himself deaf to its calls? The latter 
explanation seems the more probabla. We must also consider 
another explanation, that of latency. Darwin has recorded the 
case of birds in volcanic islands which had no fear of man, but 


acquaintance with man proved that their sense of fear was not 
absent, but only latent. 15 In the piping times of enduring peace, 
and in city populations devoid of all public spirit, conditions are 
lacking which call out the impulses of patriotism. In man's 
primal world, with group contending with group, all the condi- 
tions were present to evoke the patriotic spirit. 

Patriotism has an ancient lineage; bees give a demonstration 
of it when they issue to repel invaders from their hive ; the 
gander, when his partner is brooding, turns aggressive; bison 
bulls form a ring round cows and calves if the herd is attacked. 
We may regard a group of primal humanity as a brooding com- 
munity ; unless the brood is protected from attack, a group comes 
to an end. Patriotic feelings and impulses supply the protective 
armament. Patriotism has also a close similarity to the feelings 
which exist between members of a family. Partiality, which is 
the basis of patriotism, reigns within a family; its members 
resent any imputation made on their conduct or honour, individu- 
ally or collectively. Group patriotism may therefore be regarded 
as^an expansion of family partiality. 

There is another aspect of patriotism which received the 
attention of Hume. 16 " Men," he noted, " are vain of the 
beauty either of their country, or their county, or even of their 
parish. Here the idea of beauty plainly produces a pleasure. 
This pleasure is related to pride. The object or cause of this 
pleasure is, by supposition, related to self, the object of pride. 
By this double relation of sentiments and ideas, a transition is 
made from the one to the other." Hume might well have 
continued his argument by pointing out that a man may transfer 
pride in himself to pride in the group of which he is a member, 
or might enhance his personal pride in the reflected glory of his 
group. The argument gpes much deeper than Hume carried it, 
for we shall seek to prove in a future essay that a tribesman extends 
or transfers every one of his own emotions and instinctive im- 
pulses from himself to his tribe or group (see Essay LX). Take 
the strongest of a man's instinctive impulses — that which compels 
him to protect and preserve his own life. This impulse to pre- 
serve himself he Sransfers to his group or tribe. Self-preservation 
is individual patriotism; "when the preservation impulse is 
transferred, it becomes group patriotism. The group impulse, 
in the throes of war, masters the strongest of individual impulses 


or instincts, that of self-preservation; at this present time 
(February, 1945) millions of men are proving its mastery by 
dying that their homelands may be preserved. 

Fear has an important relation to patriotic feelings ; fear is the 
sentinel of patriotism. In quiet times when no enemy is in sight 
and no danger threatens, group feelings are in a state of calm. 
But when the life of a group is threatened, when danger becomes 
imminent, then fear appears and stirs the patriotic feelings into 
activity. If the peril is great, then patriotism becomes a master 
passion. Mr. C. R. Aldrich 17 sees in fear the basis of patriotism, 
whereas I regard fear as merely the stimulus or " trigger " of 

Religion and patriotism touch each other at many points ; both 
are nursed by emotions which lie close together in man's men- 
tality. Religion seeks for immortality in another world, whereas 
patriotism, by working for the perpetuation of its group, seeks 
for an immortality in this. Early religion worshipped ancestors ; 
patriotism has under its care the dead, the living, and the unborn. 
"Patriotism," said Oakesmith, 18 "turns doubt into devotior; 
it moves men to a passionate self-surrender." Religion has the 
same power. Prichard 19 relates that the natives of Dahomey of 
his time worshipped their king as their god ; they " recognized 
his divine right to dispose of their persons and lives according to 
his unrestrained will." In modern Japan patriotism reached the 
same divine heights ; the Emperor was both god and king. In 
Joan of Arc religious zeal became frenzied patriotism. The 
ancient Greeks mixed their religion with their patriotism (H. A. L. 
Fisher). The Marquis of Halifax (1620-92) recognized the 
kinship of patriotism to religion when he wrote : " Our Trimmer 
is far from idolatry ... in one thing only he cometh near it, 
his country is in some degree his idol ^ . . but for the earth of 
England . . . there is divinity in it." Elsewhere I have sought 
to prove that patriotism has a more powerful sway over the human 
heart than has religion (Essays on Human Evolution, 1946, p. 68). 
The line which separates the subjects dealt with in the pre- 
ceding essay under the term " group spirit " and those discussed 
in the present essay under the heading of " patriotism " is thin 
and somewhat shadowy ; yet, in the feain, group spirit is made 
up of these feelings and impulses which are concerned with the 
formation and maintenance of groups, while those included in 


patriotism have to do with defence of groups. Both group 
spirit and patriotism have this in common : both are based on an 
inborn biasing of the mind, on a partiality so strong that the 
affairs of the home group are seen in one light, while those of 
neighbouring groups are viewed in quite another light. The 
mode of conduct which the home tribesman commends when 
extended to neighbouring groups, he bitterly resents when 
applied to himself or to his group. The tribesman's sense of 
justice automatically obeys two laws — one law for his group and 
another for other groups. Among all primitive peoples living 
under tribal conditions in the modern world the tribesman is 
observed to be a " dual-codist," obeying the " code of amity " 
in all matters concerning his own group, and obedient to the 
" code of enmity " in all affairs outside his group or tribe. We 
may infer that our remote ancestors, working their way to a 
higher status, were 2lso dual-codists. I shall seek to prove in the 
next essay that obedience to the dual code is an essential factor in 
group evolution. Without it there could have been no human 
evolution. Thus is human evolution based on injustice, and 
man's mentality has been biased to make him the willing subject 
of the dual code. Civilization strives, so far with little success, 
to bring all human conduct within one code — the code of mutual 

In this essay patriotism has been pictured in its milder mood, 
in its defensive, non-aggressive form. But just as a man'spersonal 
pride may mount into the heights of vanity, so may a group's 
patriotism become inflamed and passionate, reaching the aggressive 
state known as chauvinism. This aspect of patriotism will come 
up for further consideration when nations and nationalism are 
dealt with in a later essay. 


1 Sumner, W. G., Folkways, Boston, 1906. 

2 Darwin, Charles, A Naturalist's Voyage round the World, ch. X, p. 208. 

3 Westermarck, K'The Origin and Development of Moral Ideas, 1906, vol. 2, 
ch. XXX. 

4 Robertson, J. M., Patriotism and Empire, 1899. 

6 McDougall, VAn., The Energies of Men, 1932, p. 224. 

8 Hankins, F. H., The Racial Basis of Civilization, 1926, p. 64. 

7 Conway, Martin, The Crowd in Peace and War, 1915, p. 246. 

8 Orwell, G., The Lion and the Unicorn, 1941. 

9 Gibbon, E., Decline and Fall, ch. I, Everyman ed., p. 6. 


10 Smith, Adam, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, pt. 6, sect. 2, ch. 2. 

11 Oliver, F. S., The Endless Adventure, 1935. 

12 Swift, Jonathan, Gulliver's Travels, pt. 4, ch. 7. 

13 Home, Henry (Lord Kames), Sketches of the History 'of Man, new ed., 1813, 
vol. 2, p. 128. 

14 Browne, Sir Thomas, Religio Medici, Dent's Temple ed., pt. 2, p. 86. 

15 Darwin, C, see under ref. 2, p. 403. 

16 Hume, David, Essays and Treatises, 1772, vol. 2, p. 198. 

17 Aldrich, C. R., The Primitive Mind and Modern Civilization, 193 1. 

18 Oakesmith, J., Race and Nationality, 1919. 

19 Pnchard, J. C, The Physical History of Mankind, 4th 'ed., vol. 2, p. 92. 



Synopsis. — The Origin of Species gave rise to the impression that 
the methods of evolution were brutal. When Darwin came to write 
The Descent of Man, he emphasized the importance of group selection. 
Group selection favoured the growth of man s " good " qualities. Co- 
operation and mutual^aid have high survival values. Pioneers of 
group selection. Man's co-operative impulses have been evolved from 
an instinctive basis. Man the most consciously co-operative of all 
anitnals. Mans " competitive complex." Group or team competition 
has a strong attraction for man. It is assumed that the human groups 
v4n the primal world were competitive to a varying degree. Man is the 
most competitive as well as the most co-operative of social animals, and 
in primitive groups these two qualities were combined so as to form a 
single evolutionary instrument. In this, the author is in agreement ivith 
Professor Allee. The combination of co-operation is possible only in 
groups in which behaviour is regulated by a dual code of conduct. 
Primitive man was unconscious of his dual morality. A dual standard 
of justice is essential for group evolution. Early humanity is assumed 
to have been under the dual code. Group selection implies an " ethical " 

The general impression created by the Origin of Species, when it 
was published at the end of 1859, was that evolution was a brutal 
process involving individuals in a lifelong struggle with one 
another for survival. Such an impression was in keeping with the 
picture Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) had painted of man's early 
state — namely, as* a " war of everyman against everyman." 1 
Certainly, when writing uhe Origin of Species, Darwin did 
emphasize the individual struggle and the ruthless nature of the 
evolutionary process, as, for example, when he penned the last 
e 55 



sentence of chapter VIII, part of which reads : " one general 
law leading to the advancement of all organic beings — namely, 
multiply, vary, let the strongest live and weakest die." Even as 
late as 1888 we find Huxley writing: "As amongst these so 
among primitive men . . . life was a continual free-fight, and 
beyond the limited and temporary relations of the family, the 
Hobbesian war of each against all was the normal state of 
existence." a 

When Darwin came to write The Descent of Man in 1870, his 
conception of the process of evolution had undergone a profound, 
but apparently an unnoted change ; group selection now replaced 
individual selection — at least so far as social animals were con- 
cerned, and most animals are social. I have already cited passages 
from The Descent of Man illustrative of this changed attitude 
(p. 12), and now I shall cite others to exemplify Darwin's con- 
ception of group evolution. Here is my first example : 3 " For 
those communities which included the greatest number of the most 
sympathetic members would, flourish best and rear the greatest 
number of offspring " ; the group or team held together hy 
mutual sympathy is stronger than one not so blessed. Another 
instance : 4 " When two tribes of primeval man, living in the 
same country, came into competition, if (other circumstances 
being equal) the one tribe included a great number of courageous, 
sympathetic, and faithful members, who were always ready to 
warn each other of danger, to aid and defend each other, this 
tribe would succeed better and conquer the other " ; group selec- 
tion thus favouring the growth of fidelity and courage. A third 
passage : 5 "A tribe including many members who, from 
possessing in a high degree the spirit of patriotism, fidelity, 
obedience, courage and sympathy, were always ready to aid each 
other, and to sacrifice themselves for the common good would be 
victorious over most other tribes." As a postscript to this 
passage Darwin adds : " And this would be natural selection." 
Here, then, is a case of group selection' e which % is certainly 
" natural," but in its methods and results it differs altogether from 
the instances advanced in the Origin of Species. 

I shall note very briefly other mental qualities which Darwin 
regarded as giving strength to a group or tribe, and also those 
which he believed led to their undoing. " A tribe which was 
contented and happy flourished better than one which was dis- 


contented and unhappy " ; 6 " selfish and contentious people will 
not cohere and without coherence nothing can be effected " ; 7 
" no tribe could hold together if murder, robbery, treachery were 
common." 8 Thus Darwin came to see that it was not a man's 
individual merits that gave him survival in primal times; all 
depended on how such a man could fit his merits into the social 
life of his group. Darwin realized very clearly that a group of 
primitive mankind was a nursery of all social virtues, and that it 
was by group selection that man had come by all those mental 
and moral qualities which have raised him so high above all other 

I must not permit my readers to forget the object of my present 
search; it is to discover the mental qualities which we may 
legitimately attribute to the human groups we have assembled on 
the chequerboard of the primal world. In the two preceding 
essays I have given "grounds for attributing to them a " group 
spirit," and a spirit of patriotism ; and now, with Darwin's aid, I 
am giving my reasons for regarding them as co-operative societies, 
far in societies or tribes where fellowship, goodwill, and a team 
spirit prevail, then there must be co-operation. The recognition 
that the group and not the individual was the unit of selection 
brought a new principle into evolution. Russel Wallace was the 
first (1864) to perceive that human evolution was a matter of 
group selection ; 9 Bagehot recognized it ; 10 so did Herbert 
Spencer n and Sutherland ; 12 but the witness I would cite now is 
Winwood Reade, because his evidence is based on experience 
among primitive peoples — those of West Africa. " But this 
sympathy," wrote Reade in 1872, " is extended and intensified 
by the struggle for existence; that herd which best combines 
will undoubtedly survive, and that herd in which sympathy is 
most developed, will mo»t efficiently combine. Here, then, one 
herd destroys another not only by means of teeth and claws, but 
also by means of sympathy and love ... in the first period of 
the human herd, •co-operation was merely instinctive, as in 
baboons." 13 

% Karl Pearson was also aware (1888) of the important role taken 
by co-operation* as a factor in the survival of human com- 
munities, 14 but the old conception of evolution being a " tooth- 
and-claw " business must have remained vigorous, "for when 
Prince Kropotkin published Mutual Aid: a Factor of Evolution in 


1902, it was received as a revelation. In one sense it was a 
new doctrine, for it attributed man's rise in the animal scale to his 
capacity for " mutual aid." Such a surmise will explain man's 
good qualities but, as we shall see presently, we have also to 
account for those which are regarded as evil. 

A leading authority on animal psychology, Prof. W. C. Allee, 
affirms that " automatic co-operation is a fundamental principle 
of biology " ; 15 equally fundamental is the fact that the co- 
operative activities of a community are restricted to that com- 
munity. Further, co-operation, so far as the higher animals are 
concerned, can exist only if members of a community are united 
by the bonds of mutual affection, sympathy, and goodwill, and, 
as these emotions and feelings never extend beyond the limits of an 
animal or primitive human society, we may infer that, so far as 
concerns the primal groups of humanity, co-operative activities 
were equally restricted. " Social animals," 1 said Darwin, " are 
largely guided by special instincts in the aid which they give to the 
members of the same community ; but, they are likewise in part 
impelled by mutual love and sympathy, assisted apparently by 
some amount of reason." 16 As he penned that sentence Darwin 
must have had in mind the enormous expansion of man's feelings, 
sympathies, desires, and imaginings which took place as the human 
brain rose in organization and power, and the thousand and one 
ways in which men could then co-operate and give mutual aid. 
Man has the capacity to co-operate far beyond that of any other 
social animal; we may assume that even early man had this 
capacity to a considerable degree, and that the primal groups, 
postulated in the group theory, were independent co-operative 

Having presented my case for regarding the groups of primal 
humanity as co-operative units, I now turn to give my evidence 
for regarding them as competitive units. There is ingrained in 
man's mental nature a bundle of activities to which we may give 
the name of the " competitive complex." As the base of this 
complex lies man's desire for place and power — ambition; as 
an accessory is that form of resolution known as courage. There 
are the passions of emulation, rivalry, jealousy, ^nd envy, which 
served as stimuli or " triggers " to bring the competitive complex 
into action; competition leads to conflict, and conflict may pass 
into anger, and anger into violence. Now, everyman is heir to 


all these ancient mental qualities — to a greater or lesser degree. 
We are apt to think that those feelings and impulses serve the 
occasions of only the individual man, but we have already noted 
(p. 51) that all man's individual passions and impulses may pass 
into collective action on behalf of the group. This is especially 
true of the competitive complex ; man's love of team competition 
is as strong as that for individual against individual. In 1944 
the sale of war saving-certificates was going badly in Britain, but 
the moment one team of collectors was set against another there 
was a triumphal increase. When the Government of Russia 
wished to stimulate a desire tor learning among its students, it 
appealed to the competitive spirit by setting the students of one 
institute against those of another, in what were called " socialist 
competitions." The desired effect was attained. 17 Games in 
which teams compete against teams are the most popular form 
of sport in the Anglo-Saxon world ; they seem to satisfy the 
" competitive instinct " which is so strongly developed within the 
Anglo-Saxon breast. We may assume that early man had the 
spkit of team competition. 

In man's primal world the stage was certainly set very favour- 
ably for a great game of competition. Each group was a separate 
entity, with its own interests, which were antagonistic to those of 
neighbouring groups. It may be thought that in a thinly 
populated primitive world, groups would be so far apart that 
their interests could not clash. In primal times groups depended 
for a subsistence on the natural produce of their territories. In 
those areas where Nature's harvests were abundant we should 
expect the groups to multiply in size and in number and so en- 
croach on each other. Even then the degree of competition 
which would ensue must have depended on the temperament of 
adjacent groups. Among the aboriginal tribes of Australia the 
competitive spirit is in abeyance ; it is kept just sufficiently active 
to maintain tribal isolation and integrity. It was otherwise with 
the tribes of Mongolia and of Germany ; between tribes in these 
two regions of the globe there were rivalries, conflicts, and wars. 
We may assume that in the ancient world, as in the modern, there 
were regions where tribes were aggressively competitive and 
others where life was held on easy terms. 

Man is the most competitive of animals ; his spirit of competi- 
tion outstrips that of every other Primate just as far as his brain 


surpasses theirs. Competition, one would infer, has been an 
important factor in man's evolutionary ascent. Man is also the 
most consciously co-operative of all animals; we may con- 
fidently assume that his co-operative capacity has been a potent 
factor in his evolutionary progress. Modern men of business 
are of the opinion that co-operation and competition are incom- 
patible forms of human activity. Yet every successful football 
team shows that such a combination is not only possible but highly 
profitable. For unless a co-operative spirit prevails among the 
members of a team, unless each man sinks his individuality in his 
team, there can be no competitive strength; the higher the 
co-operative spirit, the greater the competitive power. The 
greater the opposition met with in competition, the greater 
grows the co-operative spirit within the team. I assume that it 
was in this way that co-operation was combined with competition 
in the human groups of the primal world ;' welded together, as 
in a team, they gave a human group a strong place in the evolu- 
tionary field. In all home activities of a group co-operation 
replaced individual rivalries, but in all affairs which concerned 
the outside affairs of the group the " competitive complex " had 
free play. I regard the combination of co-operation with 
competition as the most potent of all the agencies which deter- 
mined the evolutionary destiny of human groups. 

That groups of primitive humanity should be imbued with a 
team spirit, and should have forged out of co-operation and 
competition a single and effective instrument to serve in their 
evolutionary advance, seems an almost trite idea, yet in all my 
reading I have come across only one author who has given it a 
clear expression — namely, Prof. W. C. Allee. 18 As to the 
factors which are concerned in the natural production of new 
forms of organic beings, I find that I have more in common with 
him than with any other biologist, excepting his idea that evolu- 
tion should culminate in making mankind into a single co- 
operative community. Julian Huxley, in ohis comprehensive 
work on evolution, 19 seems to have had in mind a combination 
of competition with co-operation when he wrote : " The develop- 
ment of social life, with consequent inter-group struggle within 
the species, may produce the most peculiar selective results, as is 
especially to be seen within our own species " — a statement based 
on inferences made by Dr. R. A. Fisher, who gives reasons for 


believing that selection, which is competitive in nature, tends to 
produce co-operative mental . qualities, such as public spirit and 
patriotism. 20 

Now, in order that the members of a team may apply the 
" C.-and-C." factor (competition with co-operation), they must 
have two rules or codes of conduct : they must behave in one 
way to their fellow members, but in quite another manner to 
members of the opposing team. It must have been so with 
groups of primitive humanity : the members of a group had one 
rule of conduct for their fellows and quite another for members 
of neighbouring groups. This duality of behaviour is not 
peculiar to man ; it holds for all neighbouring groups of social 
animals. Duality of conduct is made possible because the 
mentality of all social animals is dual. It is especially true of 
human mentality; the man who loves, sympathizes, and is kind 
at one moment may hate, be callous and cruel at the next; in 
man's mental armoury every virtue has its corresponding vice. 
" Rude tribes and civilized societies," said Herbert Spencer, 21 
•'^have had continually to carry on an external defence and an 
internal co-operation : external antagonism and internal friend- 
ship. Hence their members have acquired two different sets of 
sentiments and ideas, adjusted to their two kinds of activities." 

Here, I think, the pioneer of evolutionary thought places the 
cart before the horse. Man did not acquire his dual mentality 
as a result of practising two codes of morality, but he practised a 
dual code because of the twofold organization of his nervous 
system. A bee behaves in one way to its fellow workers, but in 
an altogether different way to those who are not of its hive. The' 
bee's behaviour is regulated by instinct, and instinct depends on an 
innate organization of nerve cells. Man is the descendant of a 
remote ancestry, the conduct of which was regulated by instinct. 
On this instinctive basis man's powerful brain has been evolved, 
but the fundamental dualism has been retained. 

The bee, of coufse, is not aware that it has two rules of conduct, 
two standards of justice, nor is any social animal. Only man 
has become conscious of it, and he only when he has entered the 
realm of high civilization } The daily conduct of most men is 
based on a dual code; it seems to them so natural to love their 
friends and to hate their enemies that they believe that they are 
obeying only one moral code in doing so. If , as I have assumed, 


man's mentality has been built on an instinctive basis, then this 
unconscious practising of a dual code is understandable, for 
instinctive action lies below the level of conscious control. Even 
in the human brain, when impulses ascend into the field of 
consciousness — into the eye of the mind — from the old centres of 
instinct, they bring with them such an emotional force that 
reason, far from playing the part of judge, jumps down from its 
throne to become a partisan. Conscience sits unmoved, believing 
such occurrences to be in the normal order of events. 

I am assuming that ancient, evolving humanity was dual 
minded and had two codes of behaviour. For a moment let us 
suppose that it was not so and that there was only one code, the 
code of amity or co-operation. Then the sympathy of the 
members of a group would no longer be restricted to their own 
circle, but would well out to embrace members of all neighbour- 
ing groups. If a group no longer considered its own things' 
much more precious that those of other groups, in no need of 
defence, then patriotism would be superfluous ; if men and women 
behaved towards members of other groups as they did towarck 
members of their own group, then all barriers between them 
would vanish and a general fusion would ensue. And with the 
disappearance of groups, not only competition and conflict would 
be ehminated, but co-operation as well, for groups are the nurses 
of co-operation as well as the agents of competition. If students 
of evolution are right in regarding each isolated group as an 
experimental brood, then with the dissolution of the dual code 
such broods would be brought to an end. What direction would 
human evolution have taken if man had been uni-codal? I 
cannot tell, but it would have been very different from that it 
did take under the rule of the dual code. Evolution would 
certainly have become disorganized, indtiterminate, and inchoate, 
as indeed it is becoming in the modern world. And, after all, 
man is a very exceptional result for evolution to have attained 
under the stress of competition and of eliminatsion. 

Seeing that all social animals behave in one way to members of 
their own community and in an opposite manner to those of 
other communities, we are safe in assuming that' early humanity, 
grouped as it was in the primal world, had also this double rule of 
behaviour. At home they applied Huxley's ethical code, which 
is Spencer's code of amity; abroad their conduct was that of 



Huxley's cosmi^j cer's code of enmity. The 

subservience to ^^^j^^^ ^^^ ^o-opcration within groups and 
competition b^^^^Pgr^^^Siade evolutionary advance 
possible; and -s^^^^j^^P^^fhe groups which co-operated 
best were also the groups which were most successful in the 
competition for survival. Man is the most co-operative ot 
animals and also the most competitive; it can hardly be a 
coincidence that the animal that has risen highest in the scale of 
beings is the one in which these two qualities find their highest 

To the ethically minded the practice of the dual code is 
anathema, for it implies two standards of justice — the favourable 
standard which members of a group apply to themselves, and the 
harsh standard they seek to impose on those not of their com- 
munity. Such is my reason for asserting, at the close of the 
preceding essay, that evolutionary advance was made possible by 
the practice of injustice. 


1 Hobbes, Thos., Leviathan, 1651, pt. I, ch. XIII, Everyman ed., p. 66. 

2 Huxley, T.H., "Evolution and Ethics", Collected Essays, 1898, vol. 9, p. 204. 

3 Darwin, C, The Descent of Man, Murray, 1913, p. 163. 
*Ibid., p. 199. 

5 Ibid. , p. 203 . 
'Ibid., p. 185. 

7 Ibid. , p. 200. 

8 Ibid., cp. 179. 

9 Wallace, A. R., Anthropological Rev., 1864., vol. 2, p. 158. 

10 Bagehot, Walter, Physics and Politics, 1869, pp. 43~53- 

11 Spencer, Herbert, Principles of Ethics, 1892, vol. 1, p. 314. 

12 Sutherland, Alex, The Origin and Growth of the Moral Instinct. , 1898, ch. XI. 

13 Reade, Winwood, The Martyrdom of Man, Watts 's reprint, 1934, p. 357. 

14 Pearson, Karl, The Grammar of Science, 1894, Everyman ed., p. 306. 

15 Allee, W. C, The Social Life of Animals, 1939, p. 35. 
18 See under ref. 3, p^i67. 

17 Crowther, J. C, Education and Industry in Soviet Russia, 1932. 

18 See under ref. 15, ch. VII. 

18 Huxley, Julian, Evolution : The Modern Synthesis, 1942, p. 129. 

20 Fisher, R. A., 7%e Genetical Theory of Natural Selection, 1930, chap. XI, 
p. 249. 

21 See under ref. 11, p. 322. 

essay vni 


Synopsis. — The development of group mentality in the child. The early 
recognition of faces. The limitation of sympathy to known faces. 
The early manifestation of mental qualities concerned in evolutionary 
competition. The development of mental biases concerned in patriotism. 
The opinions of Locke and of Reid concerning biases connected with the 
preservation of the individual and of the species. How the modern 
student of evolution regards these biases or instincts. Hume's approach 
to the study of human nature and to man's prejudices. The author 
agrees with Hume in regarding mans inclination or aptitude to form 
prejudiced opinion as being inborn. The influence of desires, aversidhs, 
interest, etc. Hume's cultural prejudice and his inability to account 
for mans behaviour being regulated by a dual code. The belief thai 
the "species is wise " has a true foundation. Human mentality has 
been biased to serve as a powerful factor in determining the direction oj 
human evolution. Altruism and idealism as sources of bias. They 
seem to serve no evolutionary purpose. The evolution of altruism. 
It is a form of mental disarmament. Theories also serve to bias the 
minds of authors; this is particularly true of those who write on 

In the three preceding essays I have discussed the part played by 
the mentality of early man in shaping' the evolutionary destiny 
of the groups into which mankind was divided in primal times. 
The evidence on which my discussion was based was drawn from 
what is known of the mentality of tribal man in the modern 
world, and to some extent on what we know of the social , 
behaviour of animals akin to man. There is another source of 
evidence which I have not yet touched on — namely, that provided 
by the study of the developing mentality of very young children, 
particularly of those group-forming qualities which I have 
ascribed to early man. By the time a baby has entered its fourth 



month of life it has become conscious of faces ; 1 it distinguishes 
the known face from the unknown ; the known face pleases while 
the unknown displeases. Have we not in this the first mani- 
festation of the group spirit — a " consciousness of kind," a dis- 
crimination which separates the faces of the family community 
from those not of that community? The babe returns the smile 
of the known face with a smile, while it is upset by the smile of 
the unknown face. Sympathy is limited to the known group. 
Have we not here the beginning of that characteristic of the group 
spirit — the limitation of sympathy to the home community? 
To account for the babe's behaviour we have to assume that it 
has been born with a mental bias — an inclination as well as an 
aptitude to love the known but to turn away from the strange or 
unknown. And the purpose of the bias is to serve in group 
formation. Here, then, is the subject of the present essay — the 
biasing of man's mentality to play a part in the process of his 

Before the end of its first year a child's affections became biased 
ftl opposite directions; in one direction its preferences are so 
strong that they may be described as love, while in another 
direction its aversions are of the nature of hate. Thus early is 
laid the basis of the love-hate mentality which prevails between 
independent groups of primitive humanity — the subject to which 
the preceding essay was devoted. With love and hate come 
manifestations of anger and jealousy, pride and resentment — 
the main mental ingredients which go to the make-up of the 
" competitive complex." Seeing how early in life a child's 
feelings and passions assume this biased mode of action, we must 
assume that the bias is determined by a particular structure and 
organization of its nervous system. We may speak of such 
inborn or innate mental biases as being " instinctive " if they serve 
a purpose in life's economy. 

As to patriotism, a particular form of mental bias or prejudice, 2 
dealt with, in Essay* VI, we must assign its development and mani- 
festations to a later stage of a child's life than those just mentioned, 
unless we accept Hume's opinion that a child's concern or pride in 
itself is a form of patriotic — namely, " self-patriotism." This 
form of patriotism begins before the end of the first year, but its 
more usual manifestations appear in later childhood, when a 
mother becomes to her children the best of women, and father 


the greatest of men. " The nearer in kind the nearer in affec- 
tion " (Hobbes). Although well over seventy years have come 
and gone since I nursed the illusions of childhood, I have still a 
vivid recollection of my dismay when certain of my boyhood 
prejudices were challenged. My father farmed in the valley of 
the Deveron, a small river in Scotland which separates Aberdeen- 
shire from Banffshire. He was, in reality, an ordinary farmer, 
and his livestock was not unusual, but I held the opinion that he 
was the most expert of farmers and that his stock was of the 
highest merit. To my surprise I learned, in a moment of 
confidence from a friend, the son of a neighbouring farmer, that 
be held a like high opinion of his father and of his father's stock, 
an opinion that struck me as being absurd. Neither his prejudice 
nor mine was shaken by our confabulation ! Often since then I 
have thought of the strength which a primitive group of humanity 
must have drawn from the prejudice or, which is the same thing, 
the conviction that it was the best and bravest of all groups and 
that its homeland was the best of all territories. Group pride is 
a breeder of confidence ; it becomes a source of evil only when k- 
reacbes that point of fervour or intoxication which is named 
jingoism or chauvinism. 

Often as I read the works of authors of the seventeenth and 
eighteenth centuries I have felt, as they expounded the funda- 
mentals of human nature, that they enjoyed one advantage 
which is denied to us who are disciples of Darwin. They 
believed in Creation. Let me cite one or two examples to 
illustrate my meaning. Let us begin with one from John Locke 
(1632-1704) : " Our all-wise Maker, knowing what it is that 
determines the will, has put into man the uneasiness of hunger 
and thirst to move and determine their wills ; for the preservation 
of themselves and of their species . . ."for the continuation of 
the species." 3 Locke has only to call in the Creator to account 
for all the instinctive forces or impulses we find at work in man's 
nature, whereas I have to demonstrate that thei-e still exists inside 
man and outside him forces or powers which could have created 
human nature as we now find it— human nature with all its 
bends, biases, prepossessions, and instinctive urges. My second 
example is taken from the Philosophy of Thomas Reid 
(1710-96) : " The wise Author of our Being hath implanted in 
human nature . . . inferior principles of action ... to preserve 


the species ... to produce changes and revolutions in the 
theatre of life . . . hath not trusted reason with the preservation 
of the species . . . hath not thought fit to leave this important 
task to reason alone, otherwise the race would long ago have 
been extinct." 4 Here the Scottish philosopher handles in the 
simple terms of Creation the problem I am now discussing — the 
inclination of the human mind to certain lines of thought and 
action, these forces being attributed to " inferior principles of 
action." The bending or bias has been implanted to serve an 
evolutionary purpose — namely, the preservation of the species. 
The " inferior principles of action " ensure that mankind will 
mate, will engender children, will care for children, and will 
devote their lives to the rearing of them, will be partial to them, 
and in due time will sink their own individuality in that of their 
children. This eighteenth-century conception of human men- 
tality is acceptable to "the twentieth-century students of evolution, 
save as regards two matters : we regard " the inferior principle of 
action " as coming to man, not by a special act of implantation, 
bet as an inheritance from forebears whose lives were mainly 
regulated by instinct ; we prefer to speak, not of the preservation 
of the species, but of the preservation of the group. 

The preference of the term " group " to that of " species " 
becomes evident when we recall the main object of this dis- 
cussion. It is the evolution of the separate groups into which 
primitive humanity was divided, particularly the part played by 
biased mentality in the preservation and evolution of primal 
groups. We have already noted the extent to which the social 
attributes of the human mind have been biased to serve such 
purposes; and now we must realize that a group's mentality is 
even more completely enslaved to serve in the major business of 
reproduction. Every generation of a group owes its existence to 
the self-sacrificing labours of a preceding generation, and should, 
if the group is to continue, hand on the entire trust or capital it 
has received to a sucaeeding generation. Our Scottish philosopher 
adds as a postscript to the passage quoted above that the " inferior 
principles of action " implanted in man's nature " have been 
successful hitherto in ensuring the continuation of the race." 
This is true of humanity as a whole ; there is no lack of births. 
But how many groups and peoples have come to an untimely end 
just because they spent on themselves the capital of altruism which 


should have gone to the rearing of another generation? The 
strength of the reproductive bias is a guarantee of the survival of 
a group. 

Both Locke and Reid approached the study of human nature 
under the conviction that they had to deal with a " special 
creation " — such a conviction serving as a potent bias to their 
interpretation. There is another author of the eighteenth century 
whose observations on human nature may help us to interpret the 
mentality of early man still more accurately than those of his 
contemporaries — namely, David Hume (171 1-76). Hume, who 
held that " the material world has a principle of order within 
itself," 5 was more likely to err in the direction taken by those who 
regard human nature as a product of evolution. " Nature," 
wrote Hume (meaning, as I suppose, the creative powers inherent 
in living things), " has given all animals a like prejudice in favour 
of their own offspring; this passion arises from the original 
structure and formation of human nature." 6 Here we find Hume 
affirming his belief that a pronounced bias or instinct is deter- 
mined by the organization of man's nervous system. " Reason^" 
he declares, " discovers objects as they really stand in nature," 
while our feelings have " a productive faculty, and gilding and 
staining all natural objects with the colours borrowed from 
internal sentiment, raises in a manner a new creation." Primitive 
man, as the powers of his brain expanded, and as the rigidity of 
instinct was replaced by a liberality of choice, looked out, not on 
the woild as it really was, but on one made attractive by the 
glamour created by his inner feelings and by the liveliness of his 
imagination. Such a bias gave him an incentive to live. Accord- 
ing to Hume, " Nature has succeeded in deceiving us into the 
opinion that human life is important." 8 Men find surcease from 
the troubles of life in sleep, which is akin to death, yet so strongly 
are they biased in favour of life that escape from it by suicide is 
regarded as an act of insanity. Nevertheless, when men realize 
that their country or their group is in danger, their instinct for 
self-preservation is superseded by a still stronger basis — one which 
compels them to offer their lives in order that their homeland 
and their group may survive. These instances'serve to illustrate 
the extent to which human nature has been biased to serve 
evolutionary purposes. 

Human mentality may be biased by many circumstances and 


conditions. Desires and aversions, unreasoned likes and dislikes, 
turn our minds this way and that. Especially potent is that form 
of mental activity known as " interest " ; whenever questions 
concerning our own welfare or that of our community arise, our 
emotions are aroused and our interest is intensified. A common 
interest served as a bond to keep the members of primitive groups 
together and helped to secure unity of action. Hope turns our 
minds in one direction, while fear, the stronger agent, turns them 
in another direction. Fear gives unity of action to a group. 
Our minds are tuned to accept what natters our self-vanity and to 
reject what tends to lower our personal status. We are biased or 
swayed by our national pride. Pride of family and of class bear 
in upon us. We are ready to believe all that is good of our 
friends and all that is evil of our enemies. Our minds are 
enslaved to our prejudices to a far greater extent than is usually 

Hume had a mind of the highest order, penetrated and con- 
trolled by an unflinching intellectual integrity ; yet he had a ruling 
pejudice. He valued those elements in human nature which 
fitted a man to take a place in the polite society of his time. " We 
are naturally partial to ourselves and to our friends," he admitted ; 
and then adds, " We are capable of learning a more equitable 
conduct." 9 When dealing with those mental qualities which 
make up man's code of amity, which I have discussed in the 
preceding essay, his pen moved swimmingly; love, friendship, 
goodwill, taste, tact, easy manners, benevolence, and humanity 
had his approval because they were agreeable as well as useful. 
It was when he proceeded to explain the presence in human nature 
of those qualities which make up man's code of enmity that his 
style became cramped ; the exhibition of passion, of contention, 
of vanity, of brutish manners, of ambition, avarice, jealousy, 
envy, and hatred was fatal to all social and polite intercourse, 
and therefore vicious and bad. Yet Hume admitted that " we 
cannot diminish or extinguish our vicious passions without 
diminishing or. extinguishing such as are virtuous ; and rendering 
the mind totally indifferent and inactive." 10 He regarded love 
and hatred as being " due t<j a constitution of nature of which we 
can give no further explication." u Man's code of enmity was an 
enigma to uni-codal Hume, but that which was an enigma to 
him finds an easy solution at the hands of the student of human 


evolution. Human nature was elaborated and matured in 
that prolonged primal age of mankind when every human 
group contended with neighbouring groups. As shown in the 
preceding essay, man's dual nature was an essential factor in his 

In this essay I have sought to concentrate the attention of my 
readers on the great extent to which the mentality of primitive 
man was modified and biased to serve in the welfare of his group, 
which means, ultimately, in the welfare and evolutionary destiny 
of his race or species. We may assume, I think, that a steady 
process of selection went on among the groups of primitive 
humanity, and that the groups with minds most suitably biased to 
give a united team or group spirit would be the groups rewarded 
by the prize of survival. If my argument is sound, then may 
there not be truth in what has come to be known as " wisdom of 
the species " ? In this connection statements made by Edmund 
Burke (1729-97) are often quoted. For example : " Whenever 
the people have a feeling, they are commonly in the right." 12 
Or again : " Prejudice with its reason has a motive to give acticn 
to that reason and an affection which will give it permanence. 
Prejudice is of ready application in an emergency. . . . Through 
just prejudice a man's duty becomes a party of his nature." 13 
Here we find an able statesman justifying prejudice in a modern 
society, while I am dwelling on its evolutionary utility 
among ancient societies of evolving man. Aristotle seems to 
have believed in the collective wisdom of lower animals. In his 
Ethics this passage appears : " Even in the lower animals there is 
some natural good principle above themselves which aims at the 
good peculiar to them." 14 Darwin believed that the safety of a 
tribe lay in the guidance of tribal opinion. For example: 
" Actions are good or bad as they affeco the welfare of the tribe. 
. . . Judgment of the tribe is best in the long run for all its 
members." 15 The part played by all those mental activities, 
which are of an instinctive or biased nature, injthe preservation of 
the individual or the species, and in securing the perfection of 
the species, was very completely recognized by E. von Hartmann 
(1842-1906). 16 James Dunbar, a professor in the University of 
Aberdeen, penned this epigrammatic statement in 178 1 : " In- 
stinct carries out the policy of nature." 17 If we construe " the 
policy of nature " as being the way of evolution, then we may 


say that the human brain has been evolved to serve as a factor 
in carrying out that way. 

There remains for our consideration one of the most powerful 
inclinations or biases of the human mind — that which receives 
a multitude of names — altruism, idealism, humanitarianism, 
benevolence, and many others. Altruism gives rise to a feeling 
of serenity. It is destitute of self-interest, is non-competitive, 
and apparently serves no evolutionary purpose ; its field of action 
is entirely within the code of amity ; it aims at a higher and better 
life. Altruism is the mother of all forms of missionary enterprise. 
Benevolence, wrote Hume, " is a disposition, a bias, a generous 
concern for our own kind " — our own kind meaning here the 
whole family of mankind. Altruism is accompanied by that 
degree of emotional fervour known as enthusiasm. " En- 
thusiasm," said Hume, " arises from pride, hope, presumption, a 
warm imagination, •• together with ignorance." 18 Under a 
heightened degree of zeal, altruism may assume the ugly forms of 
bigotry or of fanaticism. " Ideals," "William James noted, " give 
iguer joy, but are luxuries if they stay at that." 19 In the opinion 
of Herbert Spencer ideals may intoxicate the judgment; " they 
may strain nature out of its inherited form." 20 

Having asserted that all instinctive tendencies of the human 
mind work for the preservation of the individual or of his com- 
munity, how are we to account for one which serves no such 
purpose? I agree with Wilfrid Trotter 21 that altruism is both 
inborn and instinctive. The explanation of the origin of altruism 
which I would offer is very similar to that given by Darwin. 22 
Altruism is a vast expansion of family sympathy. Family 
sympathy has a diffusive and exuberant quality ; it becomes wider 
and wider in its influence, until it includes all members of a primal 
group ; it again expands ^when groups are fused into tribes and 
again when tribes are combined to form nations. The peoples 
that have survived to form the large nations of modern times are 
those which were jgifted with a full endowment of generous 
sympathy, a quality nearly akin to altruism. 

Such, however, is only part of the explanation I have to 
offer for man's ^altruistic qualities. In reality, altruism is an 
evolutionary disarmament. ' All the emotions which wait upon 
the practices concerned with man's evolution are painful. 
Competition, contest, emulation, rivalry, hatred, anger, cruelty, 


injustice— in short, all of those feelings included in the 
" evolutionary complex " — give rise to uneasiness and anxiety. 
Altruism signifies a complete abandonment of the evolutionary 
outlook; the altruistic man or woman is .willing to sacrifice 
self for foe as readily as for friend ; altruism, in reality, is a 
longing for peace. Hence the warm, large-hearted feeling which 
accompanies it. 

I am particularly interested in a form of mental bias which has 
its place, not in the evolution of man, but in the evolution of 
science, especially the branch of it which most nearly touches me 
— namely, anthropology. Time was, and not so long ago, when 
the ruling bias of my predecessors was the theory of creation as 
expounded by Moses. Observations which did not fit into that 
theory were rejected or modified. And now we are dominated 
by the conviction that evolution is true, and I am bound to 
confess that so far as the workings of Nature are known, our 
observations, so far as they concern man, fit very comfortably into 
that theory. Alas ! many of these observations cannot be fitted 
into our conception of what civilization is, and especially what it 
ought to be. Hence many of my colleagues, votaries to the 
altruistic ideal of a universal brotherhood, refuse to handle the 
uglier aspects of the evolutionary process as manifested in the 
world of to-day. The actions of the living nations he outside 
their purview, yet to me the behaviour of nations now alive is 
very similar to that which I have ascribed to primal groups of 
humanity, swallowed up in the past of so long ago. " The 
profoundest of all infidelities," write Herbert Spencer, " is the 
fear that the truth will be bad." 23 


1 McDougall, Wm„ The Energies of Men, 1032, p. 76; Duff, Charles, This 
Human Nature, Watts's reprint, 1937, p. 41. 

2 I have preferred to use the term ' mental bias " rather than prejudice for 
the following reason. In 193 1 I published a small book with the title: The 
Place of Prejudice in Modern Civilization, and found tjiat many of my cripes 
construed ' prejudice " not as a biased action of the mind, but as the belief or 
opinion formed as the result of that activity. For example, my friend Dr. 
Ashley Montagu, in referring to my booklet {Sc. Monthly V1942, vol. 54, p. 342), 
asserts that all prejudices are learned, being a cultural inheritance. The forms 
taken by the biased action of the mind are learned from those among whom we 
grow up but the mental bias is innate. Our aptitude to learn to speak is one 
tiling, the language we learn to speak is quite another. 


3 Locke, John, An Essay concerning Human Understanding, Campbell Fraser's 
cd., 1894, bk. 2, ch. XXI. 

*Reid, Thos., Essays on the Active Poivers of Man, 1788, Essay 3, pt. 2, 
ch. III. 

8 Huxley, T. H. v Collected Essays, 1897, vol. 6 on Hume, p. 177. 

6 Hume, David, Essays and Treatises, 1772, vol. 1, p. 169. 

7 See under reference 5, p. 238. 

8 See under reference 6, p. 184. 

9 Ibid., vol. 2, p. 252. 

10 Ibid., vol. 1, p. 180. 

11 Ibid., vol. 2, p. 208. 

12 Burke, Edmund,' by John Morley, 1902, p. 64. 

13 Ibid., p. 251. 

14 Aristotle's Ethics, Everyman ed., p. 237. 

15 Darwin, Charles, The Descent of Man, Murray, 191 3, pp. 182, 186. 
16 Hartmann, E. von, The Philosophy of the Unconscious, 1869. 

17 Dunbar, James, Essays on the History of Mankind, 1781. 

18 Hume, David, Essays and Treatises, 1772, vol. I, p. 70. 

19 James, Wm., Talks to Teachers on Psychology, 1902, p. 294. 

20 Spencer, Herbert, Principles of Ethics, 1892, vol. 1, p. 561. 

21 Trotter, W., The Instincts of the Herd in Peace and War, 2nd ed., 1919, p. 123. 

22 See under reference 15, p. 188. 

23 Spencer, Herbert, Essays, Scientific, Political, and Speculative, 1891, vol. 1, 
ft 61. 


damaged, or its will thwarted. The sequence of events may be 
that which I have described in the case of the individual. The 
result may be an inter-group warfare, for I am of opinion that 
group revenge was the first form of human warfare. Among 
the aborigines of Australia, if a tribe is small, all its members are 
involved in any act of revenge; but if the tribe is large and 
scattered, the turmoil is confined to local groups ; two groups of 
the same tribe may carry on a vendetta. 2 

There is an important principle underlying the practice of 
group revenge which I have not mentioned so far. It is the 
principle of collective responsibility, which works in two ways : 
it compels the group to avenge a wrong done to any one of its 
members ; it makes the group responsible for trespass committed 
by any of its members. Group revenge is linked with group 
responsibility. It is easy to see the advantages which such a link- 
age will bring to a group : it will give unity of feeling and of 
action to all its members ; it will bring a group its own measure- 
ment of justice; and it will restrain unruly and offensive conduct 
on the part of its individual members. It is not the utility of this 
group ordinance I am concerned with at this moment, but the 
circumstances which brought it into being. We get a clue if we 
consider the conditions which prevail within a primitive family, 
which I may define as consisting of a man and woman, their 
children and grandchildren, all living, eating, and sleeping as 
one company. Now the members of a family are bound to- 
gether by what is usually described as " natural affection " ; 
the code of amity regulates the conduct of the members of a 
family towards one another (see Essay V, p. 44). Nevertheless a 
feeling of resentment does arise between members from time to 
time, and if allowed to pass into revenge would speedily bring 
about the destruction of the family. If resentment does pass into 
revenge in the case of a family, then punishment of the erring 
member becomes a duty of the family ; such punishment is not 
an act of revenge. We have already seen how the family spirit 
expands beyond its narrower circles until all families of a group are 
made into a corporate whole. The family law then holds for the 
whole group. The duty of punishing crime and v wrongdoing falls 
on the group, so far as its own memhtrs are concerned, but if the 
wrong is committed by someone outside the group, then the law 
of revenge becomes operative. So we come back again to the 


action of the dual code — the code of amity which regulates the 
" home " conduct of a group and the code, of enmity which 
determines conduct in all its " foreign " affairs. Within the 
group the law of revenge is suppressed ; outside the group it is 
given a rigorous enforcement. Thus the law of revenge nurses 
enmity between groups, and so serves to maintain their isolation. 
Isolation, we shall find, has been an important factor in human 

Readers may suspect that the statements I have just made about 
revenge have been fashioned to fit into the theory of evolution. 
Let me cite, then, the evidence of polite authors who wrote in pre- 
Darwinian times. In the fourth essay of a series which Lord 
Bacon (1561-1626) published in 1626, he said this of revenge : 
" Revenge is a kind of wild justice, which, the more man's 
nature runs to, the more ought law to weed it out. . . . Cer- 
tainly, in taking revenge a man is but even with his enemy, but in 
passing it over he is superior, for it is a Prince's part to pardon." 
Bacon's condemnation of revenge relates to life in civilized lands ; 
here we are concerned with the part played by blood-revenge • 
Smong the uncivilized of the primal world. Adam Smith 
(1723-96), in the Theory of Moral Sentiments, published in 1759 
and written while he was still in his " thirties," deals with revenge, 
not as a vice, but as a virtue with which primitive man was 
endowed. Here are two of his statements : " Though man be 
naturally endowed with a desire of the welfare and preservation 
of, society, yet the Author of nature has not entrusted it to his 
reason to find out that a certain application of punishments is the 
proper means of attaining this end; but has endowed man with 
an immediate and instinctive approbation." 3 Elsewhere Adam 
Smith has this to say of the spirit of revenge : " Nature, ante- 
cedent to all reflection upon the utility of punishments, has in this 
manner stamped on the human heart an immediate and instinctive 
approbation of the sacred and necessary law of retaliation." 4 
The author of the Wealth of Nations regarded the spirit of revenge 
as an inborn constirtient of human nature and as an instrument of 
primitive justice. Thomas Reid (1710-96), who succeeded 
Adam Smith in tlje chair of Moral Philosophy in the University of 
Glasgow in 1765, wrote of resentment and revenge thus : " Nature 
disposes us to resent injury to self, family, friends, and our com- 
munity. . . . Resentment is a penal statute, promulgated by 


nature ; the execution of which is entrusted to the sufferer ; an 
uneasy sensation urges the execution." 5 Still earlier in the 
eighteenth century Bishop Butler (1692-1752) recognized that 
resentment was " a weapon put into our hands against injury, 
injustice and cruelty." 6 These eighteenth-century authors were 
creationists; we who are evolutionists use different terms, but 
our ultimate meaning is the same — namely, that the feeling or 
passion we call resentment, and which precipitates the action of 
revenge, is inborn in man and makes him the executioner of his 
private sense of justice. 

The quotations just given bear upon vengeance as an instru- 
ment of law : " Time was," writes Tylor, " when it was every 
man's duty to take the law into his own hands." 7 The same 
authority emphasizes the important point that many primitive 
tribes, such as those of Brazil, regard the murder of a tribesman by 
an enemy as an injury to the whole tribe. He also illustrates the 
penalties which overtake the tribesman who fails in his duty as 
avenger by an example taken from tribal life among the Australian 
aborigines. " The holiest duty a native is called on to perform 
is to avenge the death of his nearest relative." 8 His failure is 
attended by a complete social ostracism, and he becomes a mark of 
tribal scorn. Among the Nyasa Bantus the clan which fails in 
the duty of revenge is looked down upon by neighbouring clans; 
its honour is tarnished. 9 Arab tribes also regard murder of a 
member as an injury to the whole tribe; " our blood has been 
spilt," it is said. 10 When a tribe is led by a chief the duties of 
protection and of vengeance fall on him ; u with the coming of 
kings, these duties were transferred to them; from kings it is an 
easy step to transfer these duties to God himself. Murder came to 
be construed as an offence against God. 

The practice of blood-revenge among the earlier Israelites is 
illustrated by many passages in the Old Testament. The practice 
must have been rife when they settled in Palestine, otherwise it 
would not have been necessary to institute cities of refuge to 
protect the culprit from the avenger. " The* revenger of blood 
shall himself slay the murderer, when he meeteth him he shall 
slay him." 12 God's instructions to Noah were : " At the hands 
of every man's brother will I require the life of man. Whoso 
sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed." 13 The 
law of retaliation was given by God : " Eye for eye, tooth for 


tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burrl 
for wound, stripe for stripe." 14 In the followL 
collective responsibility is recognized, and so is jejSI! 
cause of resentment and revenge : " For I the Lord dwgsL 
jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon ilfllllll 
unto the third and fourth generations of them that hate me." 15 
We see the law of revenge at work in the heart of King David as 
he lay on his death-bed. He entrusted to Solomon the duty of 
carrying out two acts of revenge he himself had been unable to 
execute because of an oath — one on Joab the son of Zeruiah, 
the other on Shimei the son of Gera. As regard the latter the 
instruction was : " But his hoar head bring thou down to the 
grave with blood." One other instance from Proverbs 16 is 
instructive because it illustrates vengeance arising from sex- 
jealousy on the part of a wronged husband : " For jealousy is the 
rage of a man ; therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance. 
He will not regard any ransom." Bacon was right when he 
described revenge as a form of" wild justice." 

The practice of blood-revenge is present in every population 
that is divided into clans or tribes. The practice springs from, and 
is allied with, the code of enmity which regulates inter-tribal 
conduct. Hence the practice is endemic in all those parts of the 
earth where a tribal or group organization is retained. It prevails 
in North Africa, in Arabia, and in the Balkans, especially among 
the Albanians and Montenegrins. The Albanian tribesmen set a 
higher value on honour than on life ; 17 a stain on honour can be 
wiped out only by blood. 18 When a clan organization prevailed 
in Ancient Greece, blood-revenge was " an absolute and immedi- 
ate obligation." 19 How thoroughly the duty was performed is 
indicated by the old Greek adage : " A man is a fool if he kills the 
father and leaves the children alive." Among the Highland clans 
of Scotland there were interminable contentions and rivalries; 
violent animosities prevailed between their chiefs; the practice 
of blood-revenge was rampant. 20 

Although the incentives which lie behind head-hunting, the 
collection of scalps, and the capture of victims for sacrifice, differ 
from the feelings of resentment which underlies the practice of 
blood-revenge, yet the results they produce in the relationship 
between groups are similar. As victims have to be obtained from 
outside or enemy clans, the result is that the animosity between 


tribes or clans is heightened and rendered more virulent and 
lasting, thus assisting to maintain the separation of evolutionary 
units. Head-hunting is regarded by natives as a proof of manli- 
ness. 21 That it gives a zest and excitement to life may be inferred 
from the change which comes over the mentality of a group when 
its head-hunting habit is suppressed. Mr. E. W. F. Chinnery, 22 
who was a resident magistrate in New Guinea, noted that " the 
native feels a void in his existence " and that his chief occupation 
was gone " when the old practice could no longer be followed." 
Mr. G. Pitt-Rivers declares that " natives deprived of war and 
head-hunting lose their chief interest in life." 23 Rajah Brooke 
succeeded in pacifying the head-hunters of his dominion by 
inducing them to use a " dummy " head instead of a real one. 24 
Throughout the whole region of Australonesia magical means are 
used as instruments of revenge. 

The conditions of life described in the two preceding para- 
graphs, when viewed by civilized eyes, seem so revolting as to 
be utterly unbearable. Yet thu e who have visited peoples living 
under a reign of" wild justice, bring back accounts of happiness 
among natives living under such conditions. Freya Stark, for 
example, reported thus of South Arabia : " When I came to 
travel in that part of the coantry where security is non-existent, 
I found the people, though full of lament over their life of per- 
petual robbery and blackmail, yet just as cheerful and as full of the 
ordinary joy of living as anywhere on earth." 25 Dr. H. K. Fry 
had a similar experience among the aborigines of Australia. 
" A native in his wild state," he reports, 26 " lives in constant 
danger; hostile spirits are about him constantly. Yet he is 
light-hearted and cheerful . . •. indulgent to his children and 
kind to his aged parents." My third illustration is taken from the 
Crow Indians of America, who have been under the eye of 
Dr. R. Lowie for many years. They are now living in the security 
of a reserve. " Ask a Crow," reports Dr. Lowie, " whether 
he would have security as now, or danger as of old, and his 
answer is — ' danger as of old . . . there wis glory in it.' " 27 
I am assuming that the wild conditions of life I have been describ- 
ing were those amid which mankind lived through the whole 
of the primal period of its evolution. Jt was amid such conditions 
that man's nature and character were fashioned, one of the 
conditions being the practice of blood-revenge. 


When I count up the opinions which have been passed on the 
practice of blood-revenge, I find the commendations outnumber 
the condemnations. Let me deal with the grounds of commenda- 
tion first. Hobbes commends it in his seventh law of Nature for 
the reason that " men look not at the greatness of the evil past, 
but the greatness of the good to follow." 28 Revenge is pre- 
ventative in its action ; fear of fiercer reprisals restrains. It is 
commended as a test of courage and of the will to duty. It 
gives solidarity to a group and unity of action. It serves, in the 
eyes of the participants, to maintain tribal honour and prestige. 
It gives a sense of collective responsibility to a group, and compels 
it to restrain its wayward members. On the other side of my 
account I find the practice of revenge condemned as being savage, 
brutal, inhuman, a destroyer of peace, filling life with hostility 
and hatred ; it leads to a waste of previous lives ; it is a childish 
passion (Trotter) ; IK is the strongest passion of the savage breast 
(Machin) . The savage has one opinion of the practice of revenge ; 
the civilized man quite another. Certainly the practice of blood- 
revenge is incompatible with a civil way of life. 

How, then, do resentment and — the natural issue of resentment 
— revenge fit into the group scheme of human evolution? 
Let us first consider the problem of group selection. We shall 
find, in a future essay, that isolation : .s an essential condition for 
group evolution. The practice of blood-revenge creates a very 
permanent barrier between neighbouring groups or tribes. If a 
group refuses, or has not the courage, to defend its members 
wilfully attacked from without, it will lose, not only its place in 
esteem, but also its life. If we consider the selection of individuals, 
which make up a group, the same case holds. The man who 
shirks his duty when revenge knocks at his door suffers a moral 
death in the eyes of his community. We who live under the 
shelter of law may suppress our resentment and so escape, but the 
tribesman was given no such shelter ; he had to be strong enough 
in mind and body to shoulder his own defence. The strong and 
resolute were thus favoured in tribal times. 

Duelling is a form of revenge; it is a "wild" search for 
justice conducted^ according to an accepted set of rules; it is a 
return of evil for evil between two individuals of the same group 
or company, one of whom considers that his reputation or honour 
has been injured. Hobbes gives an excellent account of the 


conditions which occasion a duel : "A man receives words of 
disgrace or some little injuries and is afraid, unless he revenge it, 
he shall fall into contempt, and consequently be obnoxious to the 
like injuries from others." 29 Here Hobbes overlooks the fact 
that duelling, like the practice of blood-revenge, is enforced by 
the opinion of the company or society to which the duellists 
belong; unless the duty is undertaken, the duellists or avenger 
loses his reputation or status in the eyes of his group. If public 
opinion had remained adamant, no matter what laws had been 
enacted, duelling would have still been practised among us. 

"Why is it that the feelings which accompany the practice of 
every kind of reprisal or of revenge are painful? Indeed, all the 
feelings which enter into the practice of the code of enmity — 
envy, jealousy, emulation, covetousness, and hatred — are un- 
pleasant, while all the feelings which support the code of amity 
are pleasant and abiding. The explanation,! offer is that resent- 
ment is unpleasant to make sure that it will be put into execution, 
so giving relief by gratification. Hume implicitly recognized 
the pleasantness of the feelings of amity, and the unpleasantness of 
those of enmity when he wrote : " Gratitude goes out to virtue; 
revenge to vice." 30 Here *he pleasant feeling of generosity, a 
component of the code of amity, is made the counterpart of 
revenge, a component of tie code of enmity. I have sought to 
prove (p. 62) that the code of enmity is a necessary part of the 
machinery of evolution. He who feels generous towards his 
enemy, and more especially if he feels forgiveness towards him, 
has in reality abandoned the code of enmity and so has given up 
his place in the turmoil of evolutionary competition. Hence the 
benign feeling of perfect peace that descends on him. 


1 Duff, Charles, This Human Nature, Watts, 1937, p. 41. 

2 Radcliffe-Brown, A. R., Jour. Roy. Anthrop. Instit., 1913, vol. 43, 
p. 143. 

3 Smith, Adam, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, Pt. t 2, sect. 1, p. 109 of the 
Bohn edition. 

* Ibid., pt. 2, sect. 1, p. 99. 

5 Reid, Thomas, The Works of, 7th ed., 1872, Essay 3, pt. 2, ch. 5. 

6 Butler, Joseph, Human Nature and Other ^Sermons, sermon VIII. 

7 Tylor, Sir Edward, Anthropology, 1881, p. 414. 

8 Ibid., 1881, p. 415. 

9 Stannus, Dr. H.,Jour. Roy. Anthrop. Inst., 1910, vol. 40, p. 235. 


10 Westermarck, E., The Origin and Development of Moral Ideas, 1906, 
- ch. XV. 

11 Davie, Professor M., The Evolution oj War, 1929, p. 214. 

12 Numbers, XXXV, 29. 

13 Genesis, IX, 5, 6. 

14 Exodus, XXI, 24. 

15 Deuteronomy, V, 9. 

16 Proverbs, VI, 34. 

17 Durham, Miss M. E.,Jour. Roy. Anthrop. Inst., 1910, vol. 40, p. 465. 

18 See under reference 11, p. 126. 

19 Thomson, George, Aeschylus and Athens, 1941. 

20 Browne, James, A History of the Highlands and of the Highland Clans, 1852, 
vol. 1, p. 99. 

21 Carr-Saunders, Sir A. M., The Population Problem : A Study in Human 
Evolution, 1922, p. 194. 

22 Chinnery, E. W. V.,Jour. Roy. Anthrop. Inst., 1919, vol. 49, p. 36. 

23 Pitt-Rivers, G. H. Lane Fox, The Clash of Culture and the Contact of Races, 
1927, p. 43. 

24 Haddon, A. C, Head Hunters, 1932, p. 215. 

25 Stark, Freya, The Times, 25.11.38. 

26 Fry, Dr. H. K., The Medical Jour, of Australia, 23.3.35. 

27 Lowie, Dr. Robert, The Crow Indians, 1935. 

28 Hobbes, Thomas, Leviathan, pt. 1, ch. XV (p. 79 of Everyman ed.). 
«» 29 Ibid., pt. 2, ch. XXXVII (p. 159 of Everyman ed.). 

30 Hume, David, Essays and Treatises, 1772, vol. 2, p. 284. ' 




Synopsis. — Assumptions made regarding desire for status by primitive 
man. Ambition is a drive for superiority. Desire for status among 
animals, particularly among Primates. The urge for status is accom- 
panied by resentment, emulation , jealousy , and competition. The use 
of force as a means of obtaining status. In human societies the search 
for status has become widened and deepened. Jt Those who aspire' to 
status in primal societies must observe the dual code. The desire for 
status develops in childhood and in early manhood, and has an inborn 
basis. The desire for status promotes the welfare of the group as well 
as the advancement of the individual. Groups, tribes, and nations are 
extravagant in their claims for status. The search for power. The 
role of status in bringing about evolutionary changes. Ambition as a 
factor. The claims for status are tried and sanctioned at the bar of 
public opinion. Ordination as an organizing factor. With the coming 
of civilization , individuals were released from group control and were 
free to compete against each other for status. Man desires a status 
outside the animal kingdom. 

At what stage in his exodus from a simian to a human state man 
began to give names to living and to dead things, we do not 
know, but I am to assume that in the primal groups of humanity, 
whose evolution has been discussed in the preceding essays, each 
individual of a group had a name, and so had each group. I am 
also to make the further assumption, on grounds to be brought 
forward in this essay, that each individual of "a group was keenly 
conscious of the place or status he held in his group, and that 
each group strove for a high place in the,, rank of groups. 
My main purpose is to show that this human urge for better- 
ment in place and in rank, on the part of individuals and of 
groups, is a chief force in keeping the wheels of evolution 



turning ; indeed, there is but one stronger force, the urge for life 

We may also assume that in the primal world, as in the present, 
the strength of the. desire for status varied from one individual 
to another, and from group to group ; there were areas where the 
desire was strong, and others where it was weak. We may be 
certain those groups in which ambitious men abounded were 
contentious and competitive in their drive for superiority. 
Here again, then, we find an element of human nature — the 
desire for status — serving as a factor in human evolution. 

A consciousness of status is not confined to human circles; 
it is found in all social communities of the higher animals, 
particularly in the order to which man belongs — the Primates. 
The Scottish philosopher Thomas Reid (1710-96) observed x 
that in " a herd of black cattle there is rank and subordination. 
When a stranger is introduced to the herd he must fight everyone 
till his rank is settled. Then he yields to the stronger and assumes 
authority over the weaker." My bullocks are continually butting 
one another to establish their place in the herd. In recent years 
psychologists have greatly extended our knowledge of the part 
played by ordination in social groups of all kinds of animals. 2 
In a brood of chicks, superiority is settled by " peck-rights " ; 
some, by their courage, pugnacity, and pertinacity, succeed in 
establishing an admitted dominance, but in most cases the struggle 
is renewed with varying fortune from time to time. 3 Dr. C. R. 
Carpenter 4 studied the behaviour of the American Howler 
monkeys (Alouatta), which were living in a state of nature in their 
native forest; there were eighteen animals in the group. He 
observed that each had its rank and place in the group, deter- 
mined by repeated contest — sex and age being dominant factors. 
The monkeys of the Old World, especially baboons and 
macacques, are infinitely more unmannerly and brutal in their 
fight for status than the gentler monkeys of the New World. 
The rhesus macacque, for example, seeks to intimidate opponents 
by means which are " ruthless, cruel, and selfish." Dr. Carpenter 
also made the important observation that there was a drive for 
dominance by ory; group of rhesus monkeys over other groups, 
the mastery going to the* group with daring male leaders. 5 
Bullying is the method practised by Old-World monkeys to 
win rank and dominance, but the use of teeth and nails is less 


prominent among man's nearest congeners, the great anthropoid 
apes. Indeed, the orang, the least sociable of the anthropoids, 
is not interested in status ; he is content just to be alive ; he seems 
destitute of ambition. 6 The chimpanzee, the most social of the 
great anthropoids, lives in groups made up of fifteen to twenty- 
five individuals of all ages. " The chimpanzee," writes Dr. 
Yerkes, 7 " resents being laughed at, and occasionally takes 
revenge." His discomfiture is evident if hoaxed by being offered 
an inflated food-bag instead of a full one ; he shows jealousy when 
preference is given to companions. Professor Hooton 8 describes 
the chimpanzee as " a rugged individualist " ; he is resentful, 
jealous, and competitive — qualities which are useful in the search 
for reputation. The young play at wrestling and fighting, 
preparatory to the real struggle for rank which is in full swing in 
groups made up of animals varying from four to six years, in 
chimpanzee society the male is dominant. a In the animals most 
nearly related to rmn we find self-consciousness, self-respect, with 
a desire to be ester med or valued, in a more or less rudimentary 
form, whereas we must assume that humanity, even in its pre- 
human stage, hart all these qualities greatly strengthened and, as 
accessories, a po .verful artillery made up of those qualities, such 
as the spirit of emulation, jealousy, and competition, which 
vindicate the claims of personal vanity for recognition. 

Even among chimpanzees, the most social of anthropoids, 
rank and reputation are established by the use of physical force. 
Dr. Yerkes, 9 after noting that the chimpanzee begins its search 
for dominance in childhood, sums up his prolonged study of this 
animal by saying that the demand for " priority of rights is almost 
the major factor in the life of the mature animal" and con- 
stitutes a mode of behaviour which " ensures individual effective- 
ness." Now, it must be admitted that the simian mode of 
establishing superiority by the use of physical force still prevails 
in human societies, both civilized and uncivilized. Schoolboys 
and grown men still resort to fisticufFs to ^settle " priority of 
rights." Personal honour, when duels were in fashion, was 
vindicated by a resort to lethal weapons. In recent years we have 
seen minor political parties in Russia, Italy, and Germany 
establish dominance by a systematic exploitation of the brutal 
methods of physical force. Independent groups, tribes, and 
nations still use force, in the form of war, as a means to status. 


No doubt, the methods of physical force were employed in 
primal groups of human society, both to settle individual rank 
within a group and to establish superiority of one group over 

In a human society, in comparison with one which is simian, 
the quest for status has entered an altogether new and extended 
sphere of influence. This has been brought about, first, by the 
establishment of a bar of group or public opinion, at which 
questions of individual status are being judged and noted day by 
day; conduct is being observed; memory has become armed 
with words. Secondly, within a human society the " code of 
enmity," so rampantly practised between the individuals of a 
simian group, is largely suppressed, its place being taken by the 
" code of amity." The member of a group who would win the 
good opinion of his fellows must observe and practise the code of 
amity. In this wa/ a human society is strengthened both 
morally and physically. The third important difference between 
a human and a simian society lies in the fact that the antagonism 
tpf one simian society to another is passive rather than active, 
whereas between human societies the opposite is the case — 
antagonism, obeying the code of enmity, practises warlike deeds. 
At the bar of group opinion such warlike deeds are judged as 
honourable. Hence the ideal member of a primitive human 
group is the thorough-paced dual-codist — the man who wins a 
reputation for being a lamb at home and a lion abroad. 

Some light is thrown on the origin and nature of the human 
desire for status if we note its manifestations within a family 
circle. Every child, born in normal circumstances, has to face the 
bar of family opinion. In a family there is an ordered series of 
dominance, beginning with the father and descending to the 
last born. Only by accepting this order can there be peace within 
a family, yet most children, from the end of their third year 
onwards, strive to modify family opinion in favour of their own 
self-importance, b)j boasts, feats, lies, deceits, and other modes 
of extravagant behaviour. Blushing and shyness begin to appear 
in children before the end of their fourth year ; 10 both mani- 
festations are evidence that a sense of self-importance, an in- 
stinctive desire for status, 'is awake within them. Seeing the 
early age at which blushing and shyness appear and the im- 
possibility of acquiring the power to blush by any form of 


voluntary effort, we must conclude that the desire for individual 
status is instinctive or inborn. But the forms which this in- 
stinctive desire will take depend entirely on the culture, customs, 
and tradition which a child absorbs from its group. Further, the 
quest for status is closely linked with sexual life, for it is when the 
young reach sexual maturity that they become super-sensitive of 
personal appearance and of criticism, and become emulative, 
envious, jealous, and competitive. 

In this essay I am concerned, not with the psychology of status, 
but with the part which it plays in securing the welfare and 
survival of individuals and of groups _:f primitive humanity. 
In such primitive societies the search for individual recognition 
is usually attended by ad%'antage to the group as a whole. This 
was realized by Hume in the following passage : — 

" Self-love is a principle in human najure of such extensive 
energy, and the interest of each individual is, in general, so 
closely connected with that of the community, that those 
philosophers were excusable, who fancied that all our 
concern for the public might be resolved into a concern for 
our own happiness and preservation." u 

In the pursuit of self-interest a man hopes to establish his standing 
and reputation in his gioup. His behaviour and his deeds come 
up for review at the bar of group opinion; if his action relates to 
the " home affairs " of the group and conforms to the code of 
amity, then it is commended and his status is advanced ; if a 
flagrant breach of that code, then he loses status by being disgraced. 
If his words or actions relate to the " foreign affairs " of the group, 
then, if they conform to the code of enmity, they are commended 
and he may be regarded as a hero ; if not, then he may find him- 
self treated as a traitor. The co-ordinstion of a tribesman's care 
for his own reputation with that of his concern for the name of his 
tribe is closer and more automatic than has been suggested in 
the sentences just written. t 

The tribesman who works to exalt the name and fame of his 
tribe is rewarded by an advance of his own name and fame. The 
same bias which makes him exaggerate his own worth, and so 
gives confidence in himself, leads him to magnify the importance 
and power of his tribe ; pride in self has its counterpart in pride of 
tribe or patriotism. He is sensitive to criticism of self, and still 


more to any reflection cast on his tribe. The bias which causes 
him to lavish praise on his own tribe when turned on an enemy 
leads him to pour scorn and contempt on all neighbouring and 
rival tribes. In these, and in many other ways, the search for 
status, both for the individual and for the group, was, and is, 
woven into the texture of tribal life, giving zest and urge to 
activities of individuals and of groups. 

The Australian aborigine is vain and fond of praise ; 12 with 
him, precedence counts for much ; 13 each tribe claims pre- 
eminence over all the others. Primitive peoples speak of them- 
selves as being " the people " ; the Hottentots, for example, call 
themselves by a name which means " the men of men " 14 or the 
" real men," 15 and many similar instances might be cited. 16 
The Somalis in Kenya refused to pay taxes unless they were given 
the status of Asiatics. 17 The children of Israel regarded themselves 
as " the chosen peopib " ; when their name and fame reached the 
kings of Canaan " their hearts melted, neither was there spirit in 
them any more, because of the children of Israel " — an illustration 
t«f the power which status can give to a people. The Arabs 
regard themselves as the noblest nation; all others being bar- 
barians — a self-estimate very similar to that made by the ancient 
Greeks. A Chinese minister of education exclaimed, " How 
grand and glorious is the Empire of China, mother of the grandest 
men in the world." 18 Emerson ascribed " a sense of superiority " 
to the people of England, a trait in which his own people of the 
United States arc not now lacking. The late Lord Curzon, in 
193 1, declared that the British Empire was " the greatest instru- 
ment for good the world had ever seen," while Joseph Chamber- 
lain held the opinion that " the Anglo-Saxon was to be the 
predominant race in the history of civilization." 19 

A belief in future greatness is said to be a source of strength 
to a people. A search for power is the devouring desire of 
nations as well as of individual men ; status, as given by power, 
is now measured by the number of army divisions a people can 
muster in the day of battle, but in the springtime of man's 
evolution the power or status of a group was measured by its 
manhood. WhAi we note the early age at which the quest for 
status begins in human life, its innate character, its universal 
prevalence among all living peoples, civilized and uncivilized, 
can we doubt its presence and its activity among the primal 


groups of humanity? The search for power, we may assume, 
determined the destiny of ancient groups just as it now determines 
the destiny of nations. 

At this present time most philosophers assume that the aim of 
existence is to permit every child born into the world to develop 
to the full its inborn qualities amid the circumstances provided 
by the society into which it is born. We may say the same of 
human groups; they exist in order to develop their collective 
qualities as teams amid the circumstances of their time. Now, 
it has been observed that whenever matters relating to the life or 
to the welfare of individuals or groups come up for decision 
human passions are aroused — passions which are felt as being 
painful. Vital matters refer to the destiny of individuals or of 
groups, and have therefore an evolutionary significance. The 
pursuit of status leaves a trail of passion in its wake, as indeed 
competitions of all kinds are apt to do. Ambition is at the root 
of man's wish to excel; emulation, jealousy, envy, and covetous- 
ness are its attendant furies. " Emulation," wrote Hobbes, " is 
an endeavour to enforce our ability in competition," while envy 
is " competition with ill intent." The same author defines 
ambition as " desire of office or precedent," and notes that it 
gives rise to the same ill-feeling as covetousness. 20 All these 
qualities were regarded by the Scottish philosopher Reid 21 as 
" given by our maker for good ends " ; the desire to excel, he 
regarded as " the god within us." The impulse to compete is 
strongest in the ambitious, but even in the least ambitious child 
there is some desire to find a recognized place among its fellows. 
Seeing how firmly the desire for status is implanted in human 
nature, and how competitive that nature is, we are justified in 
ascribing these qualities to primitive humanity, and in saying that 
in their operation they produced the sajne kind of results as are 
seen in modern societies. We may assume that in the ranks of 
primal groups individuals pursued their quest for reputation and 
precedence, and that when members of the group met for gossip 
we may be sure that their favourite topic was a comparison of the 
merits and demerits of their fellow men and women. In this 
way was group opinion kept alive, and in such a way were the 
men and women chosen to guide the destiny of their group. 
Nor can we doubt that the antagonism and rivalry between the 
groups of primal humanity were less adamant than those which 


prevail between groups or nations in the modern world. Nor 
should we doubt that inter-group rivalries became so acute from 
time to time that physical force was used to enforce status, 
leading to brawls — the incipient forms of war. In such ways, so I 
assume, the search for status in man's primal world determined the 
destinies of individuals and of groups. 

There is another important service which the search for status 
renders to groups of primitive humanity; it helps to knit the 
members of a group into an organized unit. Let me illustrate its 
manner of working by citing a description which W. H. Hudson 
gave of the organization of a pack of semi-wild dogs : — 

" But from the foremost in strength and power down to 
the weakest there is a gradation of authority ; each one knows 
just how far he can go, which companion he can bully when 
in a bad temper or wishing to assert himself, and to which he 
must humbly yield in his turn." m 

In a group of human beings, who have to spend their lives as 
members of the same small society, the search for status leads to 
the establishment of the relative authority of each individual, and 
thus knits the society into an organic whole. I do not know of 
anyone who has made a census of a tribe to discover the distribu- 
tion of self-assertiveness among its members, but if it were made, 
I should expect to find a normal curve of distribution — the self- 
assertives falling to one end of the curve, the " deferentials " or 
" submissives " to the other end, while the great central area 
would be filled by those in whom both of these qualities are 
present in varying degrees. The process of ordination — that is, 
the search for status — combines these holders of diverse qualities 
into a workable society. 

So far I have been discussing man's desire for status as seen in 
primitive groups, in which there is no division into class or caste, 
all being parts of one texture. With the coming of civilization 
and the detribalization of peoples, individuals became freed from 
group control, and were thus at liberty to indulge their desire 
for status to a degree unknown in the primal world. Social 
conditions in the sivilized or post-primal world are well illustrated 
by the following quotation 'from the Wealth of Nations: — 

" The principle which prompts us to save, is the desire of 
betterment of our condition, a desire which, though calm and 


dispassionate, comes with us from the womb and never leaves 
us until we go into the grave." 23 

This desire for betterment, aided by the accumulation of wealth 
and the greater freedom of the individual, led to the stratification 
of modern populations into classes. Man's desires always turn 
him towards the class above him and away from the class below 
him. He is pleased when ranked above his claim, upset when 
placed below it. The castes of India are of the nature of tribalities ; 
like tribes, they struggle for status, treasure it, and are proud 
of it. 

I have said nothing of the dignity of man, nor of family pride, 
nor of high birth, although all of them have a place in the search 
for status. No doubt if men were free to choose they would 
claim descent from beings which were ranked above them. The 
ancient Greeks gave their heroes a divine paternity. The people of 
Japan assigned a divine origin to their emperor. If mankind were 
guided purely by feeling, it would infinitely prefer the Mosaic 
narrative of man's creation to Darwin's account of his evolutions- 
Many souls shrink when they think of the number of purely 
animal functions which are at work in their bodies ; they seek to 
forget such things or to hide them. Nor is this aversion to 
animality merely a prejudice of the civilized mind; a native will 
reprove his fellow by comparing his manners to those of a beast. 
I do not seek to explain diis widely spread aversion on the part of 
men to be classed as an animal ; my reason for mentioning it now 
is that I believe it weighs with some anthropologists when they 
set out to trace man's evolutionary history. They give him a line 
of descent which frees it from all entanglements with the lines 
which lead to anthropoid apes and to monkeys. 


1 Reid, Thomas, Essays on the Active Powers of Man, 1788, Essay 3, ch. 2, 
p. 175. 

2 Allee, W. C, Social Life of Animals, 1939, ch. VI. 

3 Ibid. 

4 Carpenter, C. R., Trans. N.Y. Acad. Sc. 1942, ser. 2, vol. 4, p. 248. 
"flirf., p. 255. 

6 Yerkes, Robert and Ada, The Great Apes, 1929, p. 151. 

7 Ibid., p. 292. 

8 Hooton, E. A., Man's Poor Relations, 1942, p. 17. 

, 9 Yerkes, Robert, Chimpanzees : A Laboratory Colony, 1943. 


10 Darwin, Charles, The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals, 2nd 
ed., 1890, pp. 337, 445. 

11 Hume, David, Essays and Treatises, 1772, vol. 2, p. 283. 

12 Westermarck, Ed., The Origin and Development of Moral Ideas, 1906, vol. 2, 
ch. XXXII. 

13 Spencer and Gillen, Across Australia, 1912, vol. I, p. 388. 

14 Westermarck, Ed., see under reference 12, ch. XXXIII. 

15 Smith, E. W., Jour. Roy. Anthrop. Inst., 1935, vol. 65, p. 1. 

18 Davie, M , The Evolution of War, 1929, p. 22, and Appendix A. Sec also 
Westermarck, under reference 12, chs. XXXII-XXXIII. 

17 The Times, August 13, 1932. 

18 Sumner, W. G., Folkways, 1906, p. 14. 

19 Nationalism : Report of a Study-Group, 1939, pp. 187, 188. 

20 Hobbes, Thos , Leviathan, pt. 1, ch. II. 

21 Reid, Thos. See under reference 1, Essay 3, pt. 2, ch. IV. 

22 Hudson, W. H., quoted by Dr. Carveth Read, The Origin of Man, J920, 

p- 45. 

23 Smith, Adam, The Wealth of Nations, bk. 2, ch. II. 



Synopsis. — Primitive humanity has no apparent government. Animal 
societies are governed by instinct; groups of primitive humanity are 
governed by human nature, the elements of which are the progeny of 
instincts. The final aim of group government. To be governed, a 
people must first be delimited. A group must be held together by social 
and other bonds. How human nature serves 'in the protection of a 
group. The role of fear. The protective machinery also preserves the 
independence of a group. The significance of independence. The 
elements of human nature which secure the reproduction and continual, 
tion of a group. The group is a " cradle "for the young and has to be 
protected. The part played by tradition in the government of a group. 
Tradition is ultimately a pfoduct of human nature. The group as a 
school for the teaching of tradition and custom to the young. How 
human nature deals out rewards a.J punishments and compels observance 
of its ordinances. The duality of man's mentality, a necessity for 
group evolution. Group hehcviour is regulated by the dual code. 
The form of behaviour implied by clannishness and party spirit is based 
on the practice of the dual code. 

After visiting the natives of Tierra del Fuego in 1832, Darwin 
reported that " the different tribes fcave no government or 
chief; yet each is surrounded by other hostile tribes." x If 
he had made a journey into the remote past of the primal world 
and examined groups of early humanity, his ^report would have 
been drafted in the same terms ; no ostensible- means of govern- 
ment were to be observed ; no proclaimed law, no magistrates, 
no policemen, no administrators. Yet we must assume that in 
the early groups of humanity, just as among the Fuegians, a rough 
sort of order was maintained within each group, otherwise groups 
would have fallen to pieces. " Look closely enough," wrote Sir 



Edward Tylor, " and you will find rudiments of government in 
primitive groups." 2 That is true ; the main purpose of this 
essay is to expound the thesis that a primitive group of humanity 
is governed by the action and reaction of those inborn mental 
qualities which are known collectively as "human nature." 
Nay, my thesis is somewhat more ambitious than I have stated, 
for I am persuaded that human nature not only supplies the means 
of group government, but that it has been so evolved as to govern 
the evolutionary destiny of human groups. What do I mean by 
" evolutionary destiny " ? It is a trite saying that the object of a 
man's existence is to develop all the potentialities and latent powers 
that are within him. The student of evolution seeks to explain 
the existence of a primitive group of humanity in a parallel 
manner; its chief end is to bring to light the hidden potentialities 
of its germ-plasm. To do that the group must remain intact and 
separate, not for one^generation, but for an infinity of generations. 
Human nature is constituted so as to control and regulate the 
affairs of a group, not only for a generation, but so as to secure its 
--perpetuation over an infinity of generations. In brief, I am to 
maintain that politics — the art of regulating and controlling the 
conduct of a community — is part of the machinery of evolution. 

Government can be applied only to a community which is 
sharply delimited from surrounding communities. For purposes 
of administration modern governments find it necessary to divide 
their territories into small units, known as parishes, and larger, 
known as counties. " Tribal law," wrote Bagehot, " could 
work only on an isolated group." 3 In Essays V and VI we have 
seen how human nature works to maintain group isolation : 
first, by the individuals of a group being conscious of membership 
being restricted to their own group ; secondly, by limiting their 
active sympathy to fellow members ; thirdly, by an aversion to 
all who are not members of their group ; fourthly, by a deeply 
rooted prejudice (patriotism) in favour of their own group and of 
the territory on which it lives. In such ways does human nature 
work to secure the condition of isolation which makes the self- 
government of a group possible. 

There are certain other t conditions which must be complied 
with to make a group capable of self-government. Its members 
must be bound together by bonds of mutual affection and of 
understanding ; they must be known to each other ; they must 


have confidence in each other; they must have those qualities 
which incline them to mutual service and co-operation. Under 
the domination of a quest for status (see preceding essay), each 
member of a group has established a relation with every other 
member ; each has learned how far he may command, and how 
far he must obey. In assuming that all these conditions were 
present within the groups of humanity of the primal world, I am 
fortified by an observation made by Darwin on animal societies 
while he was still a naturalist on board the Beagle. " As we see 
those animals whose instinct compels them to live in society and 
obey a chief, are most capable of improvement, so it is with the 
races of mankind." 4 If discipline and obedience had been 
instituted in animal societies under the sway of instinct, we need 
not hesitate in believing that under the rule of human nature, 
which is the progeny of instinct, they were also present in human 
groups of primal times. 

The safety of the people is regarded by all statesmen as the 
supreme law ; everything must be sacrificed to secure that end. 
How, then, was the supreme law upheld in a primitive tribe ?~ 
The machinery of protection was supplied by certain elements 
imbedded in man's mental nature, but before naming these, and 
specifying their mode of action, it will be advantageous to recall 
an important principle which we shall now see in action. The 
principle involved is that which compels a tribesman to sink his 
individuality in that of his tribe ; so strong is this principle that, 
in certain circumstances, there is a complete surrender of self for 
the good of the tribe. Take the strongest of man's prepossessions 
— the instinct for self-preservation ; so strong is the principle of 
transference that a man, to preserve the life of his group or tribe, 
will overcome his own most powerful instinct — that of self- 
preservation — and give his life. Mental 'qualities which serve for 
the protection of the individual, such as fear, alarm, anxiety, 
care, concern, and suspicion, are transferred by the individual to 
the group and are used for the protection and 'preservation of the 

Fear is the agent which stirs the other elements of human nature 
into action. Fear sharpens eyes and rars into vigilance. " One 
hardly ever finds a New Zealander offhis guard, either by night or 
by day " ; so wrote Captain Cook of the Maoris of his time. 5 
Fear serves as an alarm for all social animals, but in man, owing 


to the high development of his mental qualities, it becomes mani- 
fest in a myriad of forms. It may be a mere uneasiness, a 
suspicion, an anxiety, or it may reach a degree of extreme terror. 
Fear prepares the way for protection. When danger comes close 
to the group, alarm passes from mouth to mouth; a feeling of 
indignation sweeps the group, giving it the comforting feeling 
of unity of resolution and unity of action. When danger 
materializes in a threat to the life and integrity of the group, 
when an injury, is inflicted, then the passion of resentment is 
aroused, a passion which demands reprisal. Anger mobilizes 
the physical forces of the body and places them at the service of 
the passion of resentment. Fighting powers, which serve primarily 
for the defence of the individual, are called forth collectively for 
the defence of the group. These forces, used for defence and 
offence, may be under the command of blind, aimless rage, or 
they may be braced by that strong, resolute, and deliberate 
form of will known as courage. Such, then, is the manner in 
which human nature has been organized for group defence. Man 
His not singular in having his mentality organized for group 
defence; a corresponding organization is present in all com- 
munities of social animals. 

Of the dangers which lead to the mental mobilization of a 
group's defensive powers, there is one of which I have made no 
mention — namely, a threat to its independence. Now, we say a 
group is independent when it recognizes no higher authority, but 
is free to work out its own destiny — that is, its own evolution — 
under its own government, which, in the case of primitive 
groups, is the government of the ruling powers resident in 
human nature. I d o not suppose that a primitive group ever made 
independence the conscious object of its struggle ; it fought to 
maintain its integrity an8 its separateness from all neighbouring 
groups, and in so doing secured its independence. 

There is a second and very important department of group 
government which remained, and still remains, almost entirely 
under the rule of human nature. This is the department which 
has to do with the reproduction and continuation of the group. 
A living group is but a link between a dead ancestry and an un- 
born progeny. It is a government's business to carry out " a 
partnership, not only between those living, those who are dead, 
and those who are to be born." 6 The replacement of the existing 


group is secured by the " imperial passion," the impulse which 
compels young men and women to " fall in love," to mate, to 
desire children, and to rear them. " Sex-love," as Thomas Reid 
has remarked, 7 " has effectually secured these objectives in all 
ages and in every state of society." The care and upbringing of 
children has been safeguarded by one of the strongest of inborn 
emotions — that of maternal love. Maternal care is supplemented 
by the inborn partiality a father has for his own children. So 
omnipotent are the parental impulses that they may be said to 
enslave mothers and fathers for the best part of their lives in the 
service of their children. Child-rearing may be regarded as the 
chief industry of every social community ; if this industry fails 
in a group, then that group passes out of existence. The process 
of evolution permits no balking of the reproductive instincts; 
the infertile groups are rigorously eliminated, and the fertile 
perpetuated. The parental duties which prevail among human 
beings are particularly onerous, owing to the prolonged period 
during which children must be cared for and fed. Just for that 
reason human parental impulses have a compelling potency. 

A group of primitive humanity may be regarded as a cradle 
for the young ; the cradle is filled by the working of those ele- 
ments of human nature just specified. The sole duty of group 
government is to protect the cradle; to this duty a group is- 
always on the alert. - Nothing rallies the fighting spirit of a 
human group with such impetuosity as a threat to its women and 
children — to its cradle. The duty of protecting the young by a 
parent or parents is a very ancient ordinance of Nature, but in the 
human kind this ordinance is carried out by the whole parental 
group. The cradle is also safeguarded by group opinion, which 
regards every act that legitimately fills the cradle as good, and 
therefore a virtue, while every form of conduct which tends to 
make the cradle empty as bad, and therefore a vice. There is, too, 
in human nature a desire for perpetuation of name, of family, and 
of group — an accessory aid to reproduction, j. In all these ways 
human nature presides over the reproduction and continuation of 
a human community. 

So far I have been discussing the part taken by the various 
elements of human nature in governing the affairs of a group of 
primitive humanity. I am now to turn to the problem of how, 
within each primitive group, experience became treasured, handed 


on from generation to generation as an oral tradition, and how 
this tradition became accepted by the group as an embodiment of 
its law. I have at this moment a herd of ten bullocks, which, 
although they met in my fields as strangers, have in the course of a 
few months organized themselves into a self-governing com- 
munity. Their organization is entirely the result of the inter- 
action of their inborn mentalities ; no ancestral herd taught them 
how to behave, nor will they 'in turn' hand on their experience to 
the herd which will succeed them. It was quite otherwise with 
groups of early humanity; each group was reared under die 
tuition of an ancestral group ; and each in turn handed on its 
beliefs, its rules of conduct, and its experience to the succeeding 
generation. I am making the assumption that the primitive men 
and women with whom I am dealing had reached that point of 
cerebral development which made it possible for them to make 
their feelings, their needs, their loves and hates known to each 
other by means of articulate sounds. Further, I am assuming that 
the memories of these early men and women had become 
sufficiently strengthened to serve, not only as treasuries of their 
own experience, but also to carry all kinds of lore gleaned from 
the generation in which these men and women grew up. Amid 
that lore were the proper modes of conduct, habits, customs, and 
the right attitude to be assumed towards all the forces of Nature 
by which the group was surrounded; in brief, each group was 
the carrier of a tradition. But it was more than a mere carrier of 
tradition; it was a school in which that tradition was taught. 
Round the family hearth, children drank greedily of the words 
of wisdom that fell from the lips of parents and of elders. Falling 
on the receptive mentality of childhood, these words gave the 
deep impression of being final truths or convictions that had to 
be remembered and obeyed. Thus the young of every genera- 
tion grew up with a formulated code of beliefs and convictions 
which was to regulate their conduct as members of their group. 

" Custom is king, nay tyrant, in primitive society," declared 
the late R. R. Marett. 8 Sir A. M. Carr-Saunders also is of 
opinion that tradition governs the thought and conduct of a 
group ; 9 if this bg so the behaviour of a group is regulated, not by " 
human nature, but by tradition. With this I am prepared to 
agree, but with this proviso — namely, that tradition itself is 
codified human nature. Tradition is experience gained under the 


workings of human nature ; unless tradition is consonant with 
human nature — perhaps I ought to have written group nature — 
it is powerless to regulate conduct. Thus, in an ultimate sense, 
primitive groups of humanity were, and are, ruled by human 

Up to this point I have been discussing the legislative function 
of human nature; I now turn to the mode in which human 
nature enforces its policy and its enactments. Among the 
Trobriand Islanders, Malinowski 10 observed that conduct was 
regulated and law enforced by public opinion ; a desire for status, 
love of praise, and fear of blame compelled the islanders to 
fulfil their contracts and to observe custom. Malinowski's 
islanders were scarcely primitive folk: they had gardens or 
plantations ; they reaped the harvest of the sea ; they exchanged 
goods by barter ; whereas the primitive groups which I have in 
mind lived on what they could oather or on' what they could kill 
within their nature-clad territories. " The savage," wrote Dr. 
Marett, " cannot stand up fo< a moment against an adverse 
public opinion ; so that to rob him of his good name is to take- 
away all that makes life worth living." n How is public or 
group opinion formed? There is nothing so greedily and 
constantly noted by primitive men and women as the conduct of 
their neighbours ; wherever two or three are met together, the 
behaviour of the absent is appraised. A tribesman does desire to 
stand well with his fellows ; he dreads their ill opinion. " What 
is customary is obligatory ; a breach of custom calls forth the 
indignation " ^ of the group. I do not mean to suggest that 
primitive man was a paragon of virtue, or that his conscience was 
so sensitive that he could not bear to do wrong ; he would not 
have been human had he not at times risked the gratification of an 
illegitimate desire if he had a chance to« escape the punishment of 
group condemnation. Nevertheless, group opinion, with its 
system of rewards and punishments, served to keep order in a 
primitive community under ordinary circumstances. Major 
breaches of group law, such as murder or adultery, called forth 
" retributive moral emotions " 13 of such intensity that the group, 
assuming the black cap, as it were, inflicted oh the criminal its 
severest penalty, that of ostracism. This, in reality, was a capital 
sentence, for the man cast out by his group was doomed. In such 
ways, then, does human nature assume the role of judge, and by 


enforcing the verdicts of public opinion maintains order in a 
group, and so serves as an instrument of government. 

I have left to the end of this essay the discussion of what I 
consider to be the most important aspect of human nature as a 
governing force. I have already noted (Essay VII) that human 
nature has a dual constitution; it is made up of two parcels of 
qualities, of two codes. So far as I have gone in this essay, only 
one code has been discussed — the code which rules in all the 
" home affairs " of a group, the code of amity. The code which 
dominates in all " foreign affairs " of the group — the code of 
enmity — has not been mentioned. 

Let me first give a brief enumeration of the chief elements in 
human nature which go to the working of the code of amity. 
They are love, affection, sympathy, fellow-feeling, mutual trust, 
faith, goodwill, mutual service, tolerance, charity, and loyalty. 
In the enmity or cosmic code are included the qualities which are 
the converse of those just enumerated — namely, dislike, hate, ill- 
will, distrust, suspicion, intolerance, deceit, treachery, contempt, 
envy, jealousy, and malice. The tribal mind is so constituted 
that no contradiction is felt in the use of two opposite codes of 
conduct, one towards friends, the other towards enemies; nay, 
a failure to observe the dual code would be one of the gravest 
breaches of group custom. The use of the dual code involves the 
observance of two standards of justice, one standard valid for 
home affairs, the other for foreign affairs. 

How are we to explain the duality of uncorrupted human 
nature ? I know of only one satisfying explanation. If we 
assume, as we have good reasons for doing, that human evolution 
has been effected by group contending or competing with group, 
then we can realize the advantage of a mentality which worked in 
the interests of a " home group " and against those of neighbour- 
ing groups. Such is my case for affirming that human nature 
has been developed, not only as an instrument of government, but 
also as an instrument of evolution. 

Readers may well suspect that my conviction of the truth of 
the evolutionary process has biased the interpretation I am giving 
of human natut-e. I shall therefore cite in my support the 
evidence of a philosopher who thought and wrote long before 
Darwin was born. Here is what Hume had to say of human 
nature : — 14 


" It is acknowledged . . . that human nature remains 
still the same in its principles and operations. . . . Ambition, 
avarice, self-love, vanity, friendship, generosity, public 
spirit; these passions, mixed in various degrees, and dis- 
tributed through society, have been, from the beginning of 
the world, and still are, the source of all actions and enter- 
prises which have been observed among mankind. . . . 
Should a traveller give an account of men who were entirely 
divested of avarice, ambition or revenge; who knew no 
pleasure but friendship, generosity and public spirit, we 
should immediately detect the falsehood and prove him a 
liar with the same certitude as if he had stuffed his narration 
with centaurs and dragons." 

Therein Hume recognizes the duality of man's mental nature and 
that those elements which the civilized mind counts as evil are 
just as essential to its constitution as those qualities which are 
regarded as good or virtuous. Hume, however, had no explana- 
tion to offer of this duality ; that became apparent only when the 
light of evolution fell on it. "~ 

It is not usually recognized that the practice of the dual code 
gives rise to that form of behaviour known as "clannishness " 
or " party spirit." Clannishness is the application of the code of 
amity to one's friends, and of the code of enmity to one's enemies. 
This truth has been recognized by Professor F. H. Hankins 
in the following statement : — 

" In relation to one's own gang, whether tribe, political 
party, or business group, one must be loyal, honest, truthful 
and steadfast, charitable and helpful. In relation to the 
' out-group ' one becomes meritorious in proportion as 
one is deceitful, treacherous, lying, vacillating, cruel and 
destructive." 15 

In this passage Professor Hankins is not concerned with what 
human nature ought to be, but only with wiiat it has been and 
still is. He also recognizes that the " spirit of clannishness is both 
a consequence of, and an aid in, the group struggle for existence." 


1 Darwin, C, Voyage of a Naturalist, ch. X, p. 216. 

2 Tylor, Sir E. B., Anthropology, 1881, ch. XVI, p. 428. 


3 Bagehot, W., Physics and Politics, ed. 1896, p. 212. 

4 See under ref. 1, ch. X, p. 230. 

s Cook, Capt., Voyages of Discovery, 3rd voyage, Everyman ed., p. 345. 
a Burke, Edmund, Reflections on the French Revolution, 1790. 
' Reid, Thomas, Essays on the Intellectual Poivers of Man, 1788, Essay 3, 
pt. 2, ch. IV. 

8 Marett, R. R. Anthropology, 1911, p. 183. 

9 Carr-Saunders, Sir A. M., The Population Problem: A Study in Human 
Evolution, 1922, p. 322. 

10 Mahnowski, B., Proc. Roy. Instit., 1925, vol. 24, p. 529. See also Crime 
and Custom in Savage Society, 1932. 
u Marett, R. R., see under reference 8, p. 198. 

12 Westermarck, Ed., The Origin and Development of Moral Ideas, 1906, 
ch. VII. 

13 Bud., ch. I. 

14 Hume, David, Essays and Treatises, 1772, vol. 2, p. 96. / 

16 Hankins, F. H., Biology in Human Affairs, edited by E. M. East, p. 42. 

essay xn 


Synopsis. — Leadership introduced a hew principle into group govern- 
ment. Evidence which favours the opinion that chieftainship appeared 
at a very early date in the government of human groups. The first 
requisite for leadership is that the members of a group must be born 
unequal in their mental outfit. There must be a just proportion of those 
qualified to lead to those qualified to follow. Qualities of human 
nature which fit a man for leadership. The qualities needed in 
followers. Loyalty and allegiance defined and their mode of action 
explained. The Heed for mutual confidence between followers.^ 
Leadership and loyalty give strength to a group, and have therefore an 
evolutionary significance. Conscience; what it is; its value as a 
factor in social evolution. Repentance and conversion as group 
phenomena. Proselytism as a factor in group life. Its conversion into 
missionary zeal. The dual action of conscience. 

In the preceding essay I have pictured the primal groups of 
humanity as democracies living under the sway of " human 
nature," final decisions resting with the more elderly fathers of the 
group. This picture is based on what we know of the tribal 
government among Australian aborigines, but even among them 
we find a tendency for one man to be given, or to assume, more 
power than his fellows in settling the affairs of the group, a new 
principle of government being thus introduced — that of dictator- 
ship or despotism. In Central Australia, §pencer and Gillen 
noted that there were tribes in which " men not so old, but more 
learned in ancient lore or more skilled in matters of magic, were 
looked up to by other members of the tribe, and it was they that 
settled everything." 1 To this I may add the testimony of 
Sir E. B. Tylor : " It is common," he wrote, " to find amongst 
rude tribes such a headman or chief chosen as the most important 



or shrewdest . . . who gets his way by persuasion or public 
opinion." 2 He adds that " government by grandfathers breaks 
down in wartime." Darwin was of opinion that a primitive 
tribe gained an evolutionary advantage by adopting the principle 
of chieftainship. " The perfect equality among the individuals 
composing the Fuegian tribes," he wrote, " must for a long time 
retard their civilization. . . . The inhabitants of Otoheite, 
who, when first discovered, were governed by hereditary kings, 
had arrived at a far. higher grade then another branch of the same 
people — the New Zealanders, who were republicans in the most 
absolute sense." 3 One may hesitate to describe the Maori form 
of tribal government as republican, but there can be no doubt as 
to the great power wielded by their tribal chiefs. Writing of 
Melanesia, Keane has this : " Chiefs exist everywhere, being 
endowed with religious sanctity in Fiji, where they are regarded as 
the direct descendants of the tribal ancestors." 4 Rivers 5 found 
" leadership at its highest in the Solomons and Fiji," and that 
the best-led tribes had the strongest hold on life. We may infer, 
then, that the primal groups of humanity which adopted the 
principle of leadership had an advantage over those which did 

Darwin inclined to the belief that even in the earliest human 
groups government was of the leadership type, otherwise he 
would not have expressed the view that : " as man is a social 
animal, it is almost certain he would inherit a tendency to be 
faithful to his comrades and obedient to the leader of his tribe, 
for these qualities are common to most social animals." 6 Dar- 
win's opinion is supported by what we know of the group 
behaviour of the Primates most akin to man. Dr. Bingham, 7 
who studied gorillas in their native habitat, found evidence 
among them of leadership and discipline, the male gorilla acting 
as protector of his group. Chimpanzees, which are milder 
and more variable in temperament than gorillas, 8 have their 
group affairs managed by several males rather than by one 
dominant animal. Every troup of baboons has its leader or 
leaders; 9 so has every troup of macacques. Dr. C. R. Carpenter 
had an opporturity of studying macacque societies living at 
freedom on a small island, 101 and found that when a certain leader 
was withdrawn from his troup, the troup became less enter- 
prising and its range of territory less extensive. Thus we may 


presume that trie principle of leadership had been evolved in 
simian societies prior to the date of man's appearance. 

There is another reason for suspecting that dominance by a 
leader must have been, if not the original form of group govern- 
ment, yet of early date. Is not every conceivable form of family 
rule a government by dominance? Did not most children born 
within an ancient group come under male dominance during the 
opening, impressionable years of life? If the mother remained 
in the home of her family, her children came under the rule of 
their maternal uncle ; if she moved to her husband's home, then 
they came under the control of the father. The mental qualities 
which make family life possible are the basal elements of human 
nature. In the eyes of children the chief male of a family occupies 
an exalted status ; he is submitted to and obeyed with feelings of 
which love and fear are ingredients. When a youth's sense of 
family membership expanded into a sense of group membership 
he was already prepared to obey a form of group leadership. 
For this reason, and also because of the evolution of leadership 
among mammals much lower in the scale than man, I am pre- 
pared to believe that the office of chief may have been instituted 
in the very oldest human societies. 

I now pass to the consideration of the conditions which must 
exist in a group to make possible its organization and its govern- 
ment under a chief. The first condition is that men must be 
born unequal in their men* al outfit. While all must be endowed 
with the same elements of human nature, yet in each individual 
these elements must be combined in a different proportion. In 
some there must be a strong competitive desire for position or 
status, an ambition to lead, to command, to have power. In the 
majority there must be a lesser development of the " competitive 
complex," a development which inclines them to accept the 
place which falls to them in the group rather than to seek for a 
higher one; content to submit, to obey, to follow, if by so doing 
they can come by security and ease. " Providence," said Lord 
Karnes, " sends both leaders and followers." ** This was also the 
belief of Sir Francis Galton ; it was he who realized that for the 
welfare of a flock, of a herd, or of a human community, leader 
and followers must be born in the right proportion. 12 Freud 
bears witness to the truth of this opinion as follows : " That men 
are divided into leaders and led is but another manifestation of 


their inborn and irremediable inequality." 13 Another psy- 
chologist, Carveth Read, also held the same belief : " A pack or 
tribe needed enough variability to produce able leaders and 
enough average ability to follow and support them." 14 We 
must count Hbbbes among the dissentients. He framed his 
ninth law of Nature thus : " That every man acknowledge other 
for his equal by Nature," and adds, " The breach of this precept 
is Pride." 15 Nature breaks the ninth law of Hobbes every time 
a child is born. Thus we reach the conclusion that for a human 
community to be easily governed, whether under council of 
elders, or under a youthful dictator, there must be a just distribu- 
tion of various elements of human nature among its members. 
A community made up of ambitious individualists will break up 
because of internal discord, while one composed of self-denying, 
unenterprising diffidents will fall a victim to its aggressive 
neighbours. , 

What were the mental gifts which qualified a man to become a 
leader of his group in the primal world of mankind? I assume 
that they were just the same gifts as make men leaders in the 
modern world. Let us take some modern instance — that of 
Josef Stalin, who has made his way from a humble home in the 
Caucasus to the proud leadership of the United Soviets of Russia. 
Qualities which have been ascribed to him are : " Had aims 
and ambitions which he kept to himself but pursued them relent- 
lessly ; had plans which he revealed only when he had discovered 
the wishes of those around him ; infinite energy for work ; a 
genius for the management of men." 18 In brief, Stalin had 
ambition, self-reliance, and an intuitive knowledge of human 
nature. Let us now take an instance from leadership in the 
Church. Lord Lang, who had been Archbishop of Canterbury, 
lamented the death of his successor, Archbishop Temple, in these 
words : " He had the essentials of leadership — courage, conviction, 
and confidence." 17 In my opinion, convictions are of great 
importance ; they give the mind a safe anchorage. We now turn 
to a modern military leader, Lord Wavell, for a confirmation : 
" No amount of study or learning will make a man a leader unless 
he has the natural qualities of one ; he must have character which 
is a knowledge of what he 'wants, and courage and determination 
to get it." 1S Here emphasis is placed on qualities of the will, for 
courage and determination express the degree of command a 


mail has over his actions. If I were asked : " Which of ail these 
qualities is the most essential for a leader to possess? " my reply 
would be : " An intuitive knowledge of human nature." In 
this I have the support of the philosopher Hobbes, who wrote : 
" He that is to govern a whole nation must read, not this or that 
particular man, but mankind." 19 This was also the opinion of 
Edmund Burke, who held that the first requisite in a statesman is 
" to know how to manage human nature." 20 Thus I come back 
to my thesis — namely, that human nature constituted the 
machinery of government of early groups of mankind, whether 
rule was centred in a single leader or in a council of elders. 

The qualities just reviewed are those of modern leaders; no 
mention has been made of other qualities which must have been 
of prime importance in primitive communities. The man who 
faced dangers with a stout heart and a strong right arm, who 
defended the group from attacks by man ,pr beast, must have 
occupied the highest place in public esteem. We may be sure, 
too, that members of a group responded to the man who, while 
slaking his thirst for place and fame, worked for the welfare of his 
group. We may also hazard the opinion that in those early times 
there were men who carried themselves so that they had only to 
knock to have the door of leadership thrown open to them, while 
others had to break down the door by force before they attained 
their ambition. 

I am seeking to build up a picture of the mentality which kept 
groups of ancient humanity alive and assured their continuance. 
I have reviewed the qualities which went to the making of leaders ; 
I must now turn to the qualities which go to the making of 
followers. The most reliable source of information at our dis- 
posal is that to be found in family life. Which are the elements 
in human nature that make children cling to their mother's skirts 
and dog her footsteps ? There is, in the first place, a positive force 
— the mutual bond of affection or love ; in the second place, 
there is a negative element — that of fear, fear of being separated 
from the security which the mother's presende gives. We get 
nearer to the relation of led to leader if we consider the mental 
attitude which a boy adopts towards his father. Here, too, fear . 
and love are combined, but fear in tins case arises not from an 
apprehension of separation, but from a realization of the power 
which lies behind a father's command. The father imposes obedi- 


ence and discipline ; his power gives him the means of bringing 
the recalcitrant under his rule. Between a father and his children 
there grows up a particular emotional relationship, one which 
makes his children into his devoted followers. In the eyes of 
children the father becomes no ordinary man; feelings — pre- 
judices — arise within them which magnify him above all other 
fathers; he becomes their lawgiver, their pride, and their 
boast; they regard him with respect, esteem, admiration, even 
reverence. With this training in the family circle, the youthful 
tribesman, when he passes into the public life of his group, has 
already in him the seeds of allegiance to his group and of loyalty 
to his leader. 

Let us consider loyalty first. I use it as a term to designate the 
feeling which exists between a follower and his leader. This 
feeling is a mixture of admiration and devotion on the part of die 
follower, who submits his will to that of the leader, and resolves 
to follow wherever he may be lead. Loyalty implies more than 
mere submission; when accompanied by the fervour of en- 
thusiasm, as it often is, it means a complete surrender of self. 
Admiration may pass into worship, and worship can encircle the 
head of the leader with the halo of divinity. 

Allegiance is of the same mental quality as loyalty — with this 
difference. It is based on a man's consciousness of being a 
member of his group, and carries with it a sense of duty towards 
his group. With the coming of leadership, be it in the form of a 
chief, of a totem, or of a god, the obligation of allegiance passed 
into the more intense feeling or emotion we name loyalty. 
Allegiance was defined by David Hume as " an obligation of 
obedience " and loyalty as " the feeling towards a ruler." 21 

We have been discussing die mental bonds which link followers 
to a leader ; just as important are those which serve to unite one 
follower with another. The chief bond between tribesmen is 
that known as mutual confidence or mutual trust — a bond which 
permits a man to rely on his fellows for instant co-operation and 
support in all circumstances. Confidence is of the nature of a 
conviction — that is, a belief which, being reinforced by an inborn 
mental predisposition, gives the mind the certainty that a final 
truth has been reached. To the good tribesman faith or con- 
fidence comes in two forms. He must have confidence in him- 
self; he must be self-reliant ; he must have faith or confidence in 


his fellows. The feeling on which the conviction of trust is 
based, is that of brotherhood ; there must be brotherly affection 
between men before the bond of trust can arise between them. 
According to Thucydides " the most fierce are the most trusty." ^ 
Darwin recognized that the group in which leadership and 
loyalty were strongly developed had an advantage in the contest 
with other groups. He inferred that a tribe which " included a 
great number of courageous, sympathetic, and faithful members " 
would be a victor over one less fortunately situated. 23 Bage- 
hot 24 was of opinion that a " tribe is maintained by loyalty, 
fealty, authority, bigotry, and observance of custom." Winwood 
Reade's judgment on clan loyalty merits special consideration 
because it was based on personal observation of tribal life : — 

" This feeling of fidelity to the clan . . . was based in • 
their hearts ; it was a true instinct inherited from animal and 
ancient days ; it was with them an idea <5f duty, obedience to 
which was prompted by an impulse, neglect of which was 
punished by remorse. . . . They have no conscience outside 
their clan. . . . Within their own communion they live 
according to the golden rule and would be destroyed by their 
enemies if they did not." 25 

Thus, in emphasizing the importance of leadership and loyalty 
as factors in human evolution, I can claim the support of high 

What part did conscience play in the group life of early men? 
I shall try to answer this question by considering the relationship 
of conscience to loyalty. Loyalty I have defined as an exalted 
feeling which places the will of a follower at the disposal of a 
leader. In the passage just cited from Winwood Reade, fidelity 
or loyalty is described as a " true instinct "; if this were really so 
the loyal follower would have no choice; uncompromising 
instinct would secure instant obedience. The better opinion is 
that, with the expansion of the human brain, all the original social 
instincts became unloosened and converted L into mental pro- 
pensities or inclinations, so that man could obey them or refuse 
to obey. Let us suppose that the follower, at the moment when 
a command from his chief tells him to repair to a certain rendez- 
vouses engaged on a task of private interest; nevertheless,yielding 
to his feeling of loyalty, he answers the call, and is rewarded by the 


gratification of this feeling or sense of duty. But suppose the 
tribesman yields to his private interest and denies his leader; 
then his feeling or sense of loyalty is left unsatisfied, and he is 
punished by being stricken with discomfort or even pain. That 
feeling of discomfort which follows failure to obey a social im- 
pulse is conscience. A tribesman's duties to himself may be 
safely left in his own hands, but those social duties he owes to 
his leader and to his fellows, when the bonds of instinct were 
unloosened, had to be safeguarded and reinforced in the manner 
just described — by the action of conscience. A. tribesman has to 
satisfy much more than his social impulses ; in his childhood he 
drinks in the oral traditions of his group, its customs, its beliefs, 
its taboos, and its attitude towards the natural and supernatural. 
The learning so acquired sinks into the childish mind as final 
truths, as convictions. Now convictions have the force of 
instincts ; they are safeguarded by conscience ; to disobey them 
gives rise to a painful uneasiness. There could have been no 
order or government of a primitive human group unless conscience 
had been at work within it. A group of conscienceless men and 
women could not endure for even a day. Conscience, then, is 
part of the evolutionary machinery of social government. 

There is one mental state which I have found difficult to fit 
into my scheme of group evolution — namely, that of individual 
conversion. Let us take the case of St. Peter. In denying his 
Lord, he did his sense of loyalty so grave injury that he was left 
in the state of extreme regret known as repentance. Repentance 
gives rise to an intensely submissive state of feeling known as 
conversion. Now conversion implies a complete yielding up 
of self to the will of a leader, with a resolve never again to 
harbour a rebellious thought, but to obey him implicitly for ever 
afterwards. In ancient gtoups of humanity there must have been 
men and women who failed in their social duties and suffered 
from the pangs of conscience. How could they be restored to the 
ranks of the faithful unless breach of conscience was followed by 
repentance and coifversion? It is in such a way I would seek to 
fit the phenomena of repentance and conversion into a scheme of 
evolution. 3 

Besides conscience there is another constituent of human 
nature which at first sight seems to He outside any scheme of group 
evolution — namely, the desire or urge which we find in many men 


to convert others to their way of thinking — in brief, to proselytize. 
To get unity of action in a primitive group, there must be unity 
of conviction. "We can understand the utility of aggressive 
proselytizers in a primitive community ; their efforts would work 
towards unity of opinion and of action in their own group. 
But how are we to explain the annual exodus of thousands of 
enthusiasts from civilized communities, prepared to sacrifice 
comfort and life in order that the heathen may be saved? The 
evolution of missionary zeal I seek to explain in the following 
manner. "We have seen (p. 71) that man's social consciousness 
has an expanding tendency; consciousness of membership of 
family spreads until it becomes group conscious. "With the 
union of groups to form tribes, and of tribes to form nations, 
consciousness of membership expands until tribe and nation are 
embraced. It is but a step farther for all mankind to be included 
within a common brotherhood. As consciousness of member- 
ship expanded, so did the urge to proselytize. It is in this way I 
seek to explain the evolution of missionary zeal. 

There is one important aspect of conscience of which I have 
made no mention — namely, its duality. Human nature has a dual 
constitution ; to hate as well as to love are parts of it ; conscience 
may enforce hate as a duty just as it may enforce the duty of love. 
For example, conscience has a twofold role in a soldier : it is his 
duty to save and protect his own people and equally his duty to 
destroy their enemies. Let us take an example from group life. 
A tribesman has been injured or shghted by a companion; if he 
seeks to satisfy his feeling of resentment by retaliating in kind, he 
will find the opinion of his group is against him. He therefore 
seeks to slake his resentment by a return to a state of amity, a 
return which is made easy if by the repentance of the offender. 
But suppose the offender is of another group or tribe ; then the 
duty of revenge becomes imperative. Conscience, reinforced by 
group opinion, will give no rest until the duty of revenge is 
accomplished. Thus conscience serves both codes of group 
behaviour ; it gives sanction to the practices of the code of enmity 
as well as to that of amity. It must have been this twofold action 
of conscience which made Hume exclaim : " The heart of man is 
made to reconcile contradictions." 26 * 



1 Quoted by Dr. R. R. Marett, Anthropology, p. 245. 

2 Tylor, Sir E. B., Anthropology, 1881, chap. XVI, p. 428. 

3 Darwin, C, Voyage of a Naturalist, chap. X, p. 230. 

4 Keane, A, H., Man: Past and Present, new ed., 1920, p. 144. 

5 Rivers, W. H. R., The History of Melancsian Society, 1914, vol. 2, chap. II. 

6 Darwin, C, The Descent of Man, Murray, 1913, p. 167. 

7 Bingham, Harold C, Gorillas in a Native Habitat, 1932. 

8 Hooton, E. A., Man's Poor Relations, 1942, p. 327. 

9 Marais, E. N., My Friends the Baboons, 1939, chap. IX. 

10 Carpenter, C. R.,. Trans. Neu> York Acad., Sc, 194.2, Ser. 2, vol. 4, p. 248. 

11 Home, Henry (Lord Karnes), Sketches of the History of Man, 1813, vol. 2, 

?■ S°- 

12 Galton, Sir Francis, see his Life by Karl Pearson, vol. 2, p. 72. 

13 Einstein and Freud, Why War ? The New Commonwealth, 1934, p. 17. 

14 Read, Carveth, The Origin of Man, 1920, p. 343. 

15 Hobbes, Thos., Leviathan, pt. 1, chap. XV, Everyman ed., p. 80. 

16 Murphy, J. T., Stalin, 1945. 

17 The Times, Octoberjo, 1944. 

18 The Times, February 17, 1941. 

19 See under ref. 15, p. 3. 

20 Burke, Edmund, see his Life by Lord Morley, p. 67. 

21 Hume, David, Essays and Treatises, 1772, vol. 2, p. 269. 

22 Livingstone, Sir R. W., Thucydides, 1943, p. 10. 

23 Darwin, C, see under reference 6, p. 199. 

24 Bagehot, Walter, Physics and Politics, ed. 1896, p. 176. 

25 Reade, Winwood, The Martyrdom of Man, Watts's reprint, 1934, p. 358. 

26 Hume, David, see under reference 21, vol. 1, p. 65. 

essay xm 


Synopsis. — Statements by Darwin concerning evolution and morality. 
The importance of group evolution. Under morality the author 
includes, not only the rules which regulate the conduct of individuals, 
but also those which regulate the behaviour of groups. Man's dual 
code of morals. Instinctive control in animals became control by 
human nature in man. Man's morality is controlled by the elements 
included under the term " human nature." Human nature and there- 
fore morality has been the subject of the eight preceding essays. If 
human nature has been evclved, it may still undergo change. The 
plasticity of human nature is discussed, and the conclusion reached is 
that it is among the more stable parts of man's fabric. Human nature 
versus tradition as a factor in moulding morality. Is a sense of justice 
or " fair play " acquired, or is it inborn ? Man has by nature a dual 
code of justice; without such duality group evolution could not take 
place. Individual and collective responsibility in primitive societies. 
With all its evils, group selection has certain great merits. 

When The Descent of Man appeared in 1 871, it was reviewed by 
John Morley (later, Viscount Morley), who found fault with 
certam of its statements relating to the origin of man's moral 
behaviour. He was rewarded by a letter from Darwin x in which 
the following passage occurred : " I have endeavoured to show 
how the struggle for existence between tribe and tribe depends on 
an advance in the moral and intellectual qualities of the members 
and not merely on their capacity for obtaining food." A second 
letter ended with this sentence : " Undbubtedly the great 
principle of acting for the good of all the members of the same 
community, and therefore of the species, would still have 
sovereign sway." 2 Side by side with these two statements, let 
me set one taken from the text of The Descent of Man : " We 
have seen that actions are regarded by primeval man, as good or 



bad, solely as they obviously affect the welfare of the tribe — not 
that of the species, nor that of an individual member of the 
tribe." 3 

From these statements we learn that Darwin was of opinion 
that each group or tribe of primitive humanity had its own rules 
of social conduct ; that the group which had good rules was more 
likely to survive than the group which had bad rules; if the rules 
adopted made for the welfare of the group, then they were good 
or virtuous; if they had an opposite effect, then they were bad 
or vicious. It must be obvious to my readers that these statements 
have a direct bearing on the problems which are being discussed 
in these essays. I have given my reasons for assuming that early 
manhood was separated into an immense number of small, inde- 
pendent, local groups, and that the ascent from a simian to a 
human state was made, not by the competition of one individual 
against another, but> by the competition (and selection) of one 
human group against neighbouring human groups. Clearly, 
the group in which the men, women, and children behave to- 
wards one another so that there is unity of heart and singleness of 
purpose will outlast the group in which mutual conduct is such 
as to give rise to internal strife and a discordancy of aim. 

So far I am a follower of Darwin, but now I come to a point 
where I depart from him. He restricted morality, as most 
philosophers still do, to the rules which regulate the behaviour of 
men and women living together within a single group or com- 
munity, whereas I include within the bounds of morality not 
only conduct within a group, but the behaviour of one group 
towards other groups. There is an intra-group morality, and 
there is an inter-group morality, and of the two the latter is the 
more important from an evolutionary point of view. It is for 
this reason that I have insisted again and again in the preceding 
essays on the duality of man's mental nature ; man is not only dual 
in his nature, he is also dual in his morality. His conduct within 
his group was regulated by one set or code of morals, while he 
adopted an opposite code in his behaviour towards " outside " 
groups. Perhaps it may be said that his " home " conduct was 
moral while his " 9 outside " conduct was immoral. But we know 
that savage tribes look upon both these forms of conduct as 
moral, or right, and we may assume that early man shared in this 


All are agreed that the behaviour of social animals is regulated 
by instinct, and most students of human evolution are of opinion 
that those inborn mental qualities or predispositions which 
powerfully incline men towards one line of belief and action, 
and turn them away from another — qualities known collectively 
as human nature — are the progeny or representatives of the 
instincts which guided man's simian ancestors. Human nature, 
then, having taken the place of instincts, should also take over 
their function — the regulation of conduct — and we find that this 
is so. Social animals have within their natures a Mount Sinai 
which issues commandments as they are required ; human nature 
issues, not commands, but requests, and these are of varying 
degrees of urgency. Some are imperative, such as, " Thou shalt 
preserve thy life " ; " Thou shalt mate " ; " Thou shalt not treat 
thy friends as thou dost thine enemies." Here I am not speaking 
of ethics, which is concerned with what man's behaviour 
" ought " to be, but of morals, which treat of what man's conduct 
is and has been. Sir Leslie Stephen defined ethics as " the 
Science of Human Nature " ; 5 it is morality rather than ethics 
which deserves this definition. 

In seeking to base man's morality on his inborn mental nature, 
I have the support of many authorities. I am with Lecky when he 
wrote : " I shall defend those who believe that our moral feelings 
are an essential part of our constitution," and am still with him 
when he added " developed by education." 6 I am with Huxley 
when he penned this sentence : " In whichever way we look on 
the matter, morality is based on feeling, not on reason." 7 I 
have the support of Edward Carpenter : " The theatre of morality 
is in the passions; virtuous and vicious passions are eternally 
distinct." 8 McDougall is with me : " Liking and dislikings are 
the bases of morality." 9 Although the Scottish philosopher 
Thomas Reid was of opinion that human nature had been 
" created," while I believe it to have been " evolved," yet we are 
of the same opinion as regards its relationship to morality. 
" For that which makes men capable of living in society is that 
their actions are regulated by the common principles of human 
nature." 10 Reid has also my wholehearted t support in the 
following paragraph : " There is no active principle which God 
hath implanted in our nature that is vicious in itself, or that ought 
to be eradicated, even if it were in our power. They are useful 


and necessary in our present state." u If I can show that 
" instinct " and impulse determine the conduct of human beings 
massed in modern societies, then there is all the more reason for 
presuming that the behaviour of prehistoric man was also so 
regulated. Sumner of Yale declared that : " The great mass of 
any society lives a purely instinctive life." 12 Viscount Morley 
held a similar opinion. " For the common mass of men," he 
wrote, " use and wont, rude or gracious symbols, blind custom, 
prejudices, superstitions, are the only safeguards of the common 
virtues. " 

So far I have said nothing about an important matter which 
concerns human nature. If it has been evolved and is still subject 
to evolution, then it may change, and with that change there 
must be a modification in man's behaviour and morality. To 
solve this problem I shall call as my chief witness Dr. R. A. 
Fisher. 14 " Hereditary proclivities," he affirms, " form the basis 
for man's fitness for social life." Hereditary proclivities I take 
to be another name for human nature. More to the point is 
another of his statements : " Differences in behaviour, whether 
due to conscious behaviour or to impulsive reaction, do in fact 
determine differences in the rates of death and reproduction. 
And behaviour is determined by the constitution of the mind." 
Parents in whom the emotion of sympathy is strongly developed 
are more likely to bring their children to maturity than parents 
who are deficient in this emotion; children of sympathetic 
parents are more likely to be sympathetic than those born of 
unsympathetic parents. Bagehot gave the same idea a different 
expression. " Those children," he wrote, " that gratified their 
father and mother most would be most tenderly treated by them, 
and so have the best chance to live." 15 Thus the group in which 
sympathetic parents abounded should, other things being equal, 
outlive other groups in which parents were less solicitous and 
sympathetic. In the group struggle, affections are powerful 
weapons. McDougall perceived the relationship of morality to 
group survival whe'h he affirmed that " the principal condition for 
the evolution of moral nature lay in group selection among 
primitive societies constantly at war with each other." 16 

In these essays, from the fifth onwards, I have been dealing with 
human nature as manifested by groups of primitive humanity, but 
until the present essay I have not mentioned morality. If I am 


right in maintaining that human nature provides the basis of 
moral behaviour, then I have really been discussing morality all 
the while. In Essay V, for example, we found that primitive 
man limited his sympathy to his own group; that necessarily 
determined his actions towards those who were members of his 
group and those who were not members. In Essay VI we found 
that a man's zeal for his native group and for his native land 
made his behaviour that of a patriot. In Essay VII man's co- 
operative and competitive propensities were seen at work. In 
Essay VIII evidence was brought forward to show how far man's 
common actions were controlled by bias and prejudice. In 
Essay IX we saw how powerfully human conduct is influenced 
by the feelings of resentment and revenge. In Essay X we sur- 
veyed man as the slave of status, noting him controlling his con- 
duct so as to win the approbation of his fellows, their respect, 
esteem, and love. In Essay XI an endeavour was made to 
estimate the extent to which man's everyday actions are influenced 
by his nature, while in the essay which precedes this (XII), the 
behaviour needed to make successful leaders and faithful followers 
was discussed, and we concluded with a brief dissertation on 
conscience to serve as a prelude to the present essay on morality. 
The fundamental fact that underlies all manifestations of human 
nature is its dual basis. It is based on two potent passions — those 
of love and of hate. What a man loves he will strive to preserve ; 
what he hates he will strive to destroy. It is so now, and we may 
presume it was also so in man's primal period. 

If it be the case that the mentality of primitive man was radically 
different from that of modern man, as is maintained by some 
authorities, 17 then what I have said of human nature would not be 
applicable to " grouped " humanity of the earliest times. Or if it 
be true that human nature is plastic andean be " altered out of all 
recognition," then modern mentality would be no guide to 
ancient mentality. These two problems, which are in reality 
but one, must be answered before I proceed farther in my argu- 
ment. From my portfolios I could bring a cloud of witnesses in 
support of the plasticity theory of human nature, and only a few 
who are convinced of its stability. None the^ less I share the ' 
conviction of the minority. Let me' illustrate the basis of my 
conviction by the use of a simile. Ancient man had a taste in 
foods which he satisfied as best he could by the gatherings from 


Nature's table; modem man satiates his desire for food in a 
thousand ways his remote ancestors knew nothing of. The 
appetite remains the same ; the change has been in the variety of 
ways it may be satisfied. Or take another basal desire of men — 
to stand well with their fellow men so as to earn distinction. The 
opportunities of early man lay within the narrow circle of his 
group ; he could satisfy his ambition only by rendering it some 
important service ; whereas modern man may seek to satisfy his 
ambition in thousands of ways. The basal desire remains the 
same; it is the modes of satisfying it that have changed. The 
modern lover may embroider his courtship with many a new frill, 
but his passion is that which moved the first of human lovers. 

In the preceding eight essays I have enumerated the passions, 
feelings, predispositions, and desires which I attribute to early 
man, and have been at some pains to make plain the grounds on 
which I have made these attributions. I have attributed to early 
man the same elements of human nature as are still to be found in 
modern man. Without doubt, selection has been at work on 
human nature during past aeons, strengthening some of its elements 
and weakening others, but my conviction is that human nature is 
the least plastic of the qualities which go to make up the fabric of 
the living human body. So long as man continues to be an 
intensely social animal, this is likely to remain as before. 

To strengthen my case I will cite the evidence of a few expert 
witnesses. First, this from Sir Henry Maine : 18 " The stable 
part of our mental, moral, and physical constitution is the largest 
part of it." Second, from Sir Leslie Stephen : 19 " The great 
forces which govern human conduct are the same as they always 
have been and always will ... a dread of hunger, thirst, cold ; 
a love of wife, child, and friend. Sympathy with neighbours 
and a resentment of injuries." Third, the answer which Charles 
Duff has given to the question, " Does human nature change? " 
His answer is : " The superficial manners of men have changed 
considerably, but those fundamental instincts and emotions upon 
which human nature is based have undergone little real change." 20 

I am now to turn to the consideration of a subject which, at 
first sight, seems »to favour the idea that human nature can be 
quickly and radically changed — namely, that of tradition. Each 
group of primitive humanity has its own tradition, which is 
handed on by word of mouth from generation to generation. 


Tradition represents the accumulated experience and wisdom of a 
group, and is made up of several items, such as usages, customs, 
habits, manners, morals, and beliefs concerning events, both 
natural and supernatural. Such is the impressibility of the young 
child's mind that the teachings of tradition, as practised by parents 
or elders, sink home as convictions — as final truths which have to 
be treasured, obeyed, and, in due course, again handed on. Now, 
suppose a white child has been kidnapped and adopted by a 
native tribe of black men. The child will absorb the " black " 
tradition, its sense of right and wrong, its customs, and its attitude 
to surrounding groups. 21 Certainly the child has been given a 
new morality. But it has not been given a new human nature. 
It is just because the white child has the same human nature as the 
black that it has been able to absorb and obey the black child's 
code. It was the white child's moral food that was changed, not 
its moral appetite. » 

Marais 22 observed that baboons which had been reared in 
captivity starved when set free in a locality where wild animals 
of the same species prospered. This observation seems to imply 
that wild animals teach their young the art of living and that 
tradition has a place in monkey communities. John Hunter, the 
master surgeon of the eighteenth century, has recorded instances 
of young animals being taught by their dams. 23 Tradition, 
however, became potent in the living world only when the 
human brain had attained that degree of development which 
made speech possible. The brains of human beings who lived 
early in the Pleistocene period, say half a million years ago, 
have a conformation which suggests an aptitude for speech, if not 
its reality. The early groups of humanity, postulated in these 
essays, I suppose to have lived at this remote period. I have 
assumed that these early men were already capable of approving 
and of disapproving, of showing the^r feelings, of making their 
wants known, and of putting their simpler thoughts into articu- 
late sounds. In short, I am assuming that at this early period 
human nature and experience were being codified in the form of 
tradition. The group with a tradition which inculcated " the 
rearing of the greatest number of individuals jn full vigour and 
health, with all their faculties perfect " 24 should have been in a 
stronger position than the group with a more timid tradition. 
•* Carr-Saunders is of the opinion that in the struggle for survival 


tradition is more potent than inborn mental qualities. " A good 
tradition," he remarks, " has a winning quality." 2S Tradition 
is important, but I cannot conceive a people nursing and handing 
down a tradition that is not, or has not been, conformable to their 
inborn mental qualities. The early Israelites had a distinctive 
tradition which was inculcated with a religious zeal ; 2(J an 
equally zealous observance has carried their children successfully 
through two thousand years of dire vicissitudes. 

The student of human evolution turns with especial interest 
to that part of tradition in which a group hands down its con- 
ception and its rules of justice. The most striking fact he meets 
with is that every known primitive group transmits two codes of 
justice, one code for use at home, the other for use abroad. 
" For that cannot be lawful," said Aristotle, " which is done not 
only justly, but unjustly also." Nevertheless he was well aware 
that Barbarians applied one rule of justice to their friends and 
quite another to their enemies, and in both cases deemed they had 
behaved justly. Socrates, asking a definition of justice from 
his compatriots, received two answers : " Justice is doing good to 
friends and evil to enemies "; "Justice is nothing else than that 
which is advantageous to the stronger." 27 Both answers were 
true, not only of the forms of justice practised in Ancient Greece, 
but are true of every ancient society known to us, and indeed are 
still true of the justice which exists between nations. Plato 
was in search of a single principle of justice which would serve 
the needs of all men at all times, but here we are concerned with 
only two smaller matters. When did this dual form of justice 
come into the world? and, why did it come? 

We have already seen (Essays V, VII) that in all communities 
of social animals there is one rule of conduct towards members of 
a community and another->rule for those which are not members. 
A dual code of justice was in existence long before man came into 
existence, but in his hands each code became greatly strengthened 
and the separation between them became more complete. And if 
it be asked why this most inhumane development took place, the 
answer is to be found in the mode of human evolution. The 
mode of human ascent was by means of group selection ; the 
more a group based its code of justice for home use on love and 
amity, and the more sternly it applied an opposite code to 
opposing groups, the stronger it became in the evolutionary 


field. A dual code of justice finds its justification in its evolu- 
tionary utility. Bagehot makes the following cryptic remark: 
" Savages play the game of life with no knowledge of its rules," 28 
which can be interpreted only by those who have as intimate a 
knowledge of human evolution as he had. The " rules " he 
refers to are the laws of evolution; the savage is their unconscious 
slave; he adopted a dual code of justice in utter ignorance of its 
serving any evolutionary purpose. 

Moralists are agreed that no human society, ancient or modern, 
can hold together unless its members observe amiable rules of 
justice. Has man, then, an inborn sense of justice ? Hume was of 
opinion that justice was an acquired virtue, learned and practised 
because of its utility. 29 I think that it is more in keeping with the 
evidence at our disposal to say that man is born with a strong 
disposition to be just to members of his own group and unjust 
to those who are not of that group. If "we agree that man's 
inborn feeling of resentment is his reaction to an injustice, and 
that his inborn display of gratitude is evidence of a consciousness 
of having been treated with more than justice, then we must 
admit that he is born with a disposition towards justice. The 
inborn nature of conscience is also in favour of this view. 
Children manifest a desire for fair play at an early age. On the 
other hand, it may be urged that a child's sense of justice may be 
determined entirely by the tradition it inherits. In the tribal 
life inherited customs are obligatory (Westermarck). A child 
absorbs the code or codes of justice taught by its group ; but is not 
its capacity to absorb due to its inborn disposition? Tradition 
determines only the food on which its disposition feeds. 

There is another aspect of justice as practised by groups of 
primitive humanity that requires mention because of its evolu- 
tionary significance. Within a group" each individual was held 
responsible for his words and for his actions. If a man's action 
rose above a group's standard of justice, it was received with the 
praise of bis fellows ; he was rewarded by being advanced in 
esteem and in status; thus was a desire for status yoked to the 
chariot ofjustice. If his behaviour fell below the accepted custom, 
then he sank in the esteem of his fellows and *was punished by a 
loss of status. If his deeds were of a kind which we now regard 
as capital crimes, then his group outlawed him, and that, in early 
times, was equivalent to a death sentence. Individual responsi- 


bility held within the group, but in all actions which lay outside 
the group another principle of justice was imposed — that of 
collective responsibility. A group was held responsible for every 
injury which one or more of its members might inflict on 
neighbouring groups. Such responsibility had a twofold effect : 
it served to diminish inter-group disturbance and crime, and it 
also knit members of a group more closely together, thus giving 
that desirable group quality — solidarity. 

My readers may think, after what I have written about the 
duality of group justice, that the evolutionary method of group 
selection was altogether evil. This was far from being the case ; 
the system had several outstanding merits. Let me quote a passage 
which Darwin wrote while discussing the origin of man's 
" instinct of sympathy " : " Nor could we check our sympathy 
even at the urging of hard reason, without deterioration in the 
noblest part of oiir nature." 30 We are beholden to group 
selection for that " noblest part of our nature." A group was a 
nursery of sympathy; the affections which bound parents to 
childen and children to one another flowed out from the narrow 
circle of the family to pervade the wider bounds of the group. 
The group was a school of mutual aid ; it could carry not only its 
complement of fighting men but had room for those who could 
interpret life and embellish it. It had room for the weak and 
those in need of sympathy. Early man, like modern man, could 
be kind, and also he could be fierce. 


1 Darwin, Francis, More Letters of Charles Darwin, 1903, vol. 2, p. 326. 

2 Ibid., p. 329. 

3 Darwin, Charles, Tlie Descent of Man, pt. I, ch. V, Murray, 1913, p. 182. 
* See discussion of dual cotle in Essays on Human Evolution, 1946, p. 104, by 

the author of the present volume. 

5 Stephen, Sir Leslie, The Science of Ethics, 1882, p. 35. 

6 Lecky, W. E. H., History of European Morals, 9th ed., vol. I, p. 33. 

7 Huxley, T. H., Gollected Essays, vol. 6, p. 239. 

8 Carpenter, Ed., Civilization: Its Cause and Cure, 16th ed., p. 157. 
8 McDougall, Wm., The Energies of Men, 1932, ch. XV. 

10 Reid, Thomas^ Collected Works, vol. 1, p. 451. 
u Ibid., vol. 2, p. 598. 

12 Sumner, W. G., Folkways, 1906, p. 45. 

13 Morley, John, Viscount, On Compromise, Watts's reprint 1933, p. 34. 

14 Fisher, R. A., The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection, 1930, pp. 182, 178. 


15 Bagehot, Walter, Physics and Politics, p. 106. 

10 McDougall, Win., The Energies of Men, 1932, p. 264. 

17 See Levy-Bruhl's Primitive Mentality, 1922 ; Professor John Murphy in 
Man, 1942, p. 37. 

18 Maine, Sir Henry, Ancient Law, 1861, p. 10. 

19 Stephen, Sir Leslie, The Science of Ethics, 1882, p. 461. 

20 Duff, Charles, This Human Nature, 1937, p. 49. 

21 Taylor, J. G., Popular Psychological Fallacies, 1938, see p. 243. 

22 Marais, Eugene, My Friends the Baboons, 1939. 

23 Hunter, John, Essays and Observations, edited by Richard Owen, 1861, 
vol. 1, p. 53. 

24 Darwin, Charles, The Descent of Man, pt. 1, ch. LV, Murray, 1913, p. 185. 

25 Carr-Saunders, Sir A. M., The Population Problem : A Study m Human 
Evolution, 1922, p. 322. 

26 See Deuteronomy V, 33 ; VI, 6. 

27 Plato, The Republic, bk. 1, Everyman ed., pp. 6, 14. 

28 Bagehot, Walter, Physics and Politics, p. 127. 

29 Hume, David, Essays and Treatises, 1772, vol. 2, p. 247. 

30 Darwin, Charles, The Descent of Man, pt. 1, ch. Y> Murray, 1913, p. 206. 

ESSAY xrv 


Synopsis. — In this essay the author 'enters another field of inquiry — 
the means by which evolution is effected. The methods applied to 
the solution of evolutionary problems have greatly changed in the 
author's lifetime. The influence of Mendel, Galton, Pearson, and 
Morgan. The author assembles an isolated group of Sinanthropes 
on which to illustrate his evolutionary creed. A high death-rate and 
a compensatory high birth-rate are postulated. The student of evolution 
views human beings as carriers of reproductive genes. We are linked 
to our simian ancestry by a continuous trail of gene-containing germ- 
plasm. The author is a Weismannist. The process of evolution in the 
motor-car world compared with that in the world of humanity. The 
machinery of evolution is made up of three factors : those of production , 
competition, and selection. The triple process as seen in the car 
industry and in human communities. The manner in which new types 
are brought into existence. Artisans compared to genes. Pearson s 
" new theory" Trends explained in terms of genes. The " trend 
process " is applied to explain the increase of the human brain. Muta- 
tion of genes has played only a minor part in the evolution of human 
races. The process of evolution compared to that of legislation. 

It may be well if I notify my readers that in this essay I enter 
another field of inquiry. In Essays I-IV I gave my evidence for 
believing that early man was divided into small isolated groups, 
each of which occupied a delimited territory ; in Essays V-XIII 
I dealt with the mental qualities which keep members of a group 
together and also which turn them away from members of 
adjacent groups. In this essay I am to begin an inquiry into the 
means by which, the men and women of a group change in the 
characters of their bodies and minds if they continue to inbreed 
over a long period of time. I shall speak of the means and 
circumstances which bring about such changes as " the machinery 



of evolution." The mere choice of such a term as " machinery " 
will reveal to the reader what I would willingly have withheld 
from him — namely, that I am mechanically minded ; I can reach 
results only when I can form concrete images of the means 
involved. Now, an inquiry into the process of evolutionary 
change requires an aptitude for, and a training in, mathematics, 
neither of which I possess. Nevertheless I have not been blind 
these past fifty years to the results obtained by those gifted 
individuals who have applied statistical methods to the solution 
of evolutionary problems. I have seen the statistical methods 
devised by Sir Francis Gallon (1822-1911) developed into a 
powerful mathematical instrument by Karl Pearson (18 5 7-193 6) 
— an instrument which is undergoing still greater refinements in 
the hands of modern students of heredity. I have seen grow up, 
bit by bit, the evidence which leaves us in no doubt that the basis 
of heredity within each germ or reproductive cell has a particulate 
form, each particle or gene being exceedingly minute in size, with 
living potentialities which control the development and growth 
of the human body. The demonstration by means of the higher 
powers of the microscope that the hereditary material of the 
germ cell has a particulate form was a triumphant vindication of 
the Tightness of Mendel's theory — namely, .that heredity is 
particulate in the manner of its operation. Thus the credo I am 
to apply to the interpretation of man's mode of evolution has 
been built up as I went along, its Darwinian basis being modified 
by the teaching of Mendel, Galton, Pearson, T. H. Morgan, and 
of many others. 1 I know, too, that my credo has but a passing 
value; as our knowledge of human evolution widens and 
deepens it will be replaced by one more in accordance with 
ultimate truth. 

In order that we may have a concrete example in front of us, I 
propose to empanel a group of early humanity, such as existed 
in China near the beginning of the Pleistocene period ; people 
who lived, according to the most reliable estimate, about 600,000 
years ago. It so happened that at this remote date a series of 
limestone caves became filled in, entombing fragments of the 
people (now known as Sinanthropes) who then >}ived in that part 
of China. They were people who retained certain marks of the 
ape — namely, prominent eyebrow ridges, receding foreheads, 
and low-roofed skulls. Fragments of thirty-eight individuals 


were unearthed ; 2 of these, it is important to note, fifteen were 
under fourteen years of age, and only one was over fifty years ; 
the remainder were between fourteen and fifty. Such figures 
suggest a heavy bill of mortality. That early man was shorter 
lived than modern man is also suggested by observations made by 
Professor Vallois. He brought together the data bearing on the 
age at death of the Neanderthalians — people who belong to a 
later date than the Sinanthropes — and found that forty per cent 
of them had died under eleven years and only five per cent were 
over forty. 3 I am therefore to assume that in my group of 
Sinanthropes numbering one hundred individuals the expectation 
of life was low — not more than twenty years. For convenience 
of calculation let us infer that our group is made up of individuals 
at all ages, half of them being males and half females. I make the 
further assumption that for the bare maintenance of the group 
we must assign a territory of two hundred square miles, for taking 
one season with another and one year with another we must 
allow about two square miles per head for primitive man. I am 
also making the assumption that our group of Sinanthropes was 
antagonistic to surrounding groups and maintained its separation 
from them, as indeed is always the case with a truly primitive 
human group. 

Let us assume that death claimed ten members of our group 
every year, the chief mortality being in infancy, and that this 
loss was annually made good by ten births. To see how such a 
result might be attained we must note the age distribution in the 
fifty individuals — infants, girls, and women — who made up the 
female side of the group. Let us divide them into three age 
classes : (1) those under fifteen years, the number in this class 
being fifteen; (2) those between fifteen and thirty-five (the 
years of fertility), for I assume that in primal times women were 
fertile for only twenty years of their lives. This class I suppose to 
have kept up an average number of twenty mothers who, one 
year with another, .had to supply ten new lives to make good the 
loss by death ; (3) women who had passed the thirty-five-year 
mark, numbering fifteen individuals. My scheme involves that 
each year a maidj>of the pre-fertile class reaches her fifteenth year 
and so passes into the maternal class, and that one mother reaches 
the age of thirty-six and so enters the post-fertile category. 
Thus every twenty years the mother class is renewed; in the 


course of a century it is replaced five times. During that period 
this class, breeding at the rate of ten per annum, has provided the 
group of Sinanthropes with a thousand new lives to replace the 
thousand which death has taken from it. With such a turnover 
of lives, selective agencies are given many opportunities of 
effecting changes in the constitution of the group. In modern 
civilized communities it is estimated that sixty per cent of people 
are the victims of selective agencies, that an eighth part of one 
generation gives birth to half the succeeding generation, 4 
that in the course of a century fifty per cent of families are elimi- 
nated and replaced by expanding families. 5 If these things are 
true of modern societies, we may assume they were equally true of 
ancient societies. The group which occupied the Sinanthrope 
territory at the end of a century would thus have differed in many 
points, both in body and in mind, from the group which held the 
same territory at the beginning of the century. 

So far I have written as if my sole interest had been in the sur- 
vival of the individual men and women who made up our 
Sinanthropic group of early humanity. In reality, as a student of 
evolution my chief concern is not in the survival of the individual 
men and women, but in the survival of the germinal units or 
genes contained and carried within the reproductive glands of 
these men and women. The evolutionist is materially minded ; 
the Sinanthrope who failed to put his genes into circulation within 
the group and so remained childless is regarded by him as a mere 
cypher in the chain of descent. The number of genes in circula- 
tion within our Sinanthropic group must have been truly 
enormous ; it has been estimated 6 that within the cell which is to 
give rise to a new human being there are some 25,000 determinants 
or genes. Our interest, for the moment, is not in the vast 
population of genes within our Sinanthropic group, but in the 
relationship between the genes and the living bodies in which 
they were contained. At a very early stage in the development 
of a human embryo a parcel of the original gene-containing germ- 
plasm is laid aside to be handed on in due time to another genera- 
tion. And so it has been and will be. The genes from which 
our Sinanthropes arose were the direct descendants of those which 
at a much earlier period in the earth's history gave rise to ape-like 
forms. And these same genes which shaped the bodies and minds 
of Sinanthropes are very probably the ancestors of the genes which 


circulate in the bodies of the modern inhabitants of China. 7 
Thus I have placed my readers in possession of a fundamental part 
of my anthropological credo — namely, that genes change and 
evolve, and that evolutionary events in the upper world are 
determined by what happens in the underworld of genes. 

Another part of my credo is my belief in Weismannism. 8 
Genes are in the body ; they are living and are nourished by the 
juices of the body, and yet their life is unaffected by that of the 
body. Nothing a -man can think, feel, or do will alter for either 
good or bad the powers and potentialities of his genes; the 
habits and the skill he has acquired at the cost of continuous 
effort leave them untouched. If we could believe with Lamarck 
and with Darwin that genes can be, and are, influenced by what 
the body does, how easy would be the solution of many of our 
evolutionary problems ! For example, the lines appear in the 
palm of the foetal hand just where the skin is to fold when the 
hand is clenched. If we believe that the effects of use can be 
inherited, then we can give a satisfying explanation of the early 
appearance of suitable lines in the foetal palm. Yet this simple 
explanation is rejected by the vast majority of students of heredity ; 
indeed, in my immediate circle there is only one eminent anthro- 
pologist — Professor Wood-Jones 9 — who regards the many 
adaptations of the human body as a result of the inheritance of 
use and wont. 

How, then, do those who believe in the independency of genes 
explain the ascent of humanity from a simian ancestry and the 
many wonderful adaptations which characterize the human 
body? It so happens that during the half-century I have been 
inquiring into the evolution of the human body I have seen the 
motor-car or automobile pass from the crude image of a horse- 
drawn vehicle to the finished products which crowd our modern 
roads. It will help the reader to understand what I mean by 
" the machinery of evolution " if I turn aside for a moment and 
compare the process of evolution as seen in the car world with 
that which I believe to take place in the world of mankind. 
In both cases we have a triple process at work — namely, produc- 
tion, -competition^ and selection. In the car world the buying 
public serves as the selective agency; it buys according to its 
needs, its taste, and the state of its purse. The firm which fails 
to cater for these needs and fancies soon ceases to exist. Com- 


petition arises because there are many rival firms which cater for 
the same public. We now turn to the group of Sinanthropes and 
ask: "Where is the selective agency? And how does com- 
petition arise? " The selective agency in this case is power, and 
by power I mean every quality that contributes to the strength 
and survival of a human group. A group to survive must have 
amity and unity at home and a will to resist attack from without. 
I have assumed, in our group of Sinanthropes, that births merely 
equalled the number of deaths ; but let us assume, as we may well 
do, that births exceeded deaths, not only in our group, but also 
in surrounding groups, and that numbers had come to exceed 
what the natural produce of their territories could sustain. Then 
there must ensue a struggle, a competition, between our Sin- 
anthropes and neighbouring groups, for territory, for sustenance, 
for life. In this struggle it may happen that our group has 
proved so powerful that it succeeds in exterminating a neighbour- 
ing group, and so is in a position to plant its superfluous numbers 
as a new colony or group in the conquered territory. The area 
of our Sinanthrope genes will thus have been extended. Such, 
then, is what I conceive to have been the chief mode of competi- 
tion and selection in the primal human world. 

I shall now attempt a more difficult feat of comparison — that of 
contrasting the production or reproduction of a car with that of 
the development of a human child. Our comparison must 
explain not only how old types are reproduced, but how types are 
introduced, changed, improved, and evolved. To compare with 
our Sinanthropic group, let us choose a large factory, one divided 
into some ten departments, each department producing a variety 
of the same type of car. In the car world production takes place 
under one roof, while competition and selection are fought out 
in the open, whereas in the human group all three processes take 
place, as it were, under the same roof. We have already glanced 
at the genes of production in the human world, but where are we 
to find them within our car factory? The genes within the 
factory are the myriads of skilled artisans and labourers we observe 
within each of the ten workrooms of our factory. The car 
artisan differs from the human gene in two important respects : 
the artisan works outside his material, whereas the gene works 
within its material, both gene and material being alive. The 
other important difference is that the artisan has to acquire his 


skill, whereas the gene, like the worker bee, comes into life with 
its skill fully developed. To strengthen our comparison let us 
assume that the artisan, like the worker bee, performs his day's 
work instinctively and fashions a particular pinion quite uncon- 
scious of the end it is to serve. We have to assume, too, that our 
artisans are divided into teams, each team being engaged on the 
production of a single car. By the continued co-operation of a 
team a finished car is made ready for the road. We make a 
similar assumption in the production of a child ; we have reason 
for believing that within the fertilized human egg there is 
assembled a vast team of ultra-microscopic genes which co- 
operate in the production, first, of an embryo, then of a fcetus, 
and finally of a fully developed babe. 

So far as my comparison has gone it has illustrated merely the 
reproduction of former types ; it has thrown no light on how 
types are changed and improved. Now, in modern factories 
there are designing brains receiving intelligence of defects in their 
firm's cars and hints as to what the public is in want of. From 
such information the designers set to work and, not only remedy 
the defects, but modify the type so as to make it a more efficient 
instrument. In the factory which I have just postulated the 
artisans work purely by instinct ; they are deaf to intelligence ; 
they cannot be affected by experience; they can only go on 
producing their accustomed type. But let us suppose that new 
teams can be formed, that we can combine half of the artisans 
engaged on a larger size of car with their opposite numbers 
derived from a team engaged on a smaller size of the same type of 
car. Then if we set this new combination of artisans to work, 
the car which emerges will differ from former products in size 
and many other details. Such is the method which is actually 
employed in the genetic scheme of production. In the fertilized 
human ovum the team of genes has a dual origin : half is derived 
from the father and half from the mother ; each fertile mating 
thus brings a ne/v combination of genes into being. Each 
maternal gene seeks out its corresponding paternal gene; 
human genes are thus duplicate structures. If, then, we are to 
complete my comparison, we must arrange the artisans of our 
new team in pairs, each artisan from the larger car being linked 
with the corresponding workman taken from the smaller car. 
We must also assume that our artisans, even those who perform 


the same allotted task, differ in the zest, energy, and even skill 
with which they set to work; like a gene, our artisan may be 
energetic and dominant, or may go about his work indifferently, 
or may be so little skilled as to be counted a mere labourer. Genes 
of this nature are known in the human world as recessives. Now, 
two dominant artisans, if they come together, will form a forceful 
partnership ; a dominant artisan, if yoked with one of the labour- 
ing grade, will cover the defects of his partner ; but if it should so 
happen that two of the labouring grade become linked, then there 
will be a piece of defective workmanship which will soon be 
made apparent when the car takes the road. We may regard our 
artisans, as we do the germinal genes, as dominant, neutral, and 
recessive ; we may combine them in an almost infinite number of 
new teams; yet so long as they retain their original inborn 
natures, they will go on producing mere varieties of the old type; 
they will fail to produce a new type of car. In the group of 
Sinanthropes it was assumed that, in the course of a century, a 
thousand matings had taken place and a thousand new combina- 
tions of genes thus brought into existence, and that at the end of a 
century the group was regarded as differing only in detail from 
the ancestral group. The mode of radical change to bring about 
the evolution of a new type has still to be exemplified. 

To introduce what may be named the " effective machinery of 
evolution," let me cite a paper which Professor Karl Pearson 
published in 1930 and to which he gave the title " On a New 
Theory of Progressive Evolution." 10 He was then seventy-two 
years of age, and throughout the greater part of his life had , 
accepted Galton's dictum that in the course of generations 
exceptional individuals tended to revert or regress towards the 
mean or average individual of their race. In this new theory 
Pearson threw Galton's dictum overboard. In 1905 he had 
commenced the inbreeding of the progeny of a single pair — a dog 
and a bitch; by 1930 he had reared over 500 specimens of this 
inbred race and was surprised to find, as he went on, that, far 
from his breed becoming stable, certain new characters became 
more and more emphasized. In his new theory he asserts that 
" if you start with a parentage, however little in excess of 
type . . . and inbreed, the type, so far from being stable, will 
progressively alter, without any selection whatsoever." To illu- 
strate his theory he imagines an inbreeding human community 


containing a number of tall individuals, and proves mathematic- 
ally tliat in a group so constituted there is a tendency or trend to 
an ever rising average of stature in the ^roup. 11 To give a genetic 
explanation of the Pearsonian theory we rnust assume that, in the 
course of matings within a small group, genes with a power to 
increase stature frequently become linked with genes possessing 
similar potencies, and that ultimately tall genes prevail within 
the group. There is in this case a " trend " to increase of stature, 
and if stature determined the success of a group in the struggle 
against other groups, there is no reason why die trend should net 
go on indefinitely. Selection, however, has favoured groups 
having a medium stature, not those made up of tall, lanky men. 

Were it necessary I could cite a large number of evolutionists, 12 
who have examined the evidence relating to trends and are 
convinced that, so far as the production of new forms ot life is 
concerned, a graduairise in power of a combination of genes is the 
fundamental factor in the process of evolution. If trend bearers 
answer the purposes of life, then they are favoured by selection ; 
if they do not, then they are repressed and ultimately eliminated. 

To illustrate this thesis as applied to the human species, I again 
return to my group of Sinanthropes. About the stature of this 
early form of humanity we have little to guide us, but something 
can be said of the size of their brains. Weidenreich 13 was able to 
measure the cranial capacity or brain volume of five Sinanthropes ; 
in these five the brain volume varied from 915 cubic centimetres, 
which is smaller than any brain to be found in most modern races, 
up to 1,225 cubic centimetres, an amount which places its owner 
on a lower rung of the modern brain-ladder. We are justified in 
assuming that within our Sinanthrope group there were several 
families which carried genes tending towards the 1,200 mark or 
beyond it, and that in the course of matings teams of uprising 
genes came together, and so helped on the upward trend of brain 
volume. I am assuming that the well-brained group will be 
more successful both at home and abroad than groups which are 
less well equipped." 

When we state the rise of the human brain in terms of cubic 
centimetres, weaver-simplify a problem of the utmost com- 
plexity. When we remember that in each cubic centimetre of 
. brain matter there may be 20 millions of nerve units, that in a 
100 c.c. there are 2,000 millions — which sum represents the total 


human population of the globe — and that in a modern brain of 
moderate dimensions (1,400 c.c.) there are some 28,000 million 
nerve units, 24 then we begin to realize the marvellous organizing 
powers we are attributing to the genes which regulate the 
development of the human brain. Yet we cannot get away from 
the fact that the vast population of nerve cells which make up the 
brain are the progeny of a single cell — the fertilized ovum — and 
that the original regulating power was also contained within that 
cell. In the course of development, detachments of the vast army 
of nerve cells take up allotted stations, form intercommunications, 
and so the brain becomes an instrument that commands the body 
and manages its affairs in life. Yet the problem is not insuperable. 
Give a commander-in-chief sufficient power and he might succeed 
in organizing the total manhood of the earth into a single army. 
To accomplish such a task it must be possible for him to delegate 
his authority downwards and downwards until it reached all 
parts of his organizing command. I am assuming that the genes 
which control the development of the human brain have similar 
powers of delegation. 

There is one manner in which changes can be introduced into 
the development and growth of the human body which I have not 
mentioned. A gene may mutate — that is, it may suddenly 
become changed in nature — and so give rise to an irregular 
development of that part of the body or brain with which it is 
concerned. No doubt geneticists are right when they attribute 
most of the malformation and defects of the human body to 
gene mutation, yet I am of opinion that gene mutation has played 
only a minor part in shaping the modern races of mankind. 

Thus it will be seen that I place the productive or creative part 
of the machinery of evolution in the underworld of genes, while 
I bring the competitive and selective agencies into the upper 
world of life where men and women are tested, singly as well as 
in teams or groups. The machinery, as I conceive it, has re- 
semblances to the powers possessed by the Lower and Upper 
Houses of our British Parliament. The prerogative of initiating 
and creating new legislative measures rests with the Lower 
House, the House of Commons ; the House qf Lords can but 
select, accept, or reject what is submitted to it by the Lower 
House; measures have to pass both Houses before they receive 
the Royal signature and thus become the law of the land. Dar- 


win placed what he regarded as the supreme power of evolution — 
that which he named " Natural Selection " — in the Upper 
House, whereas we of a later generation, in the light of increased 
knowledge, place the supreme power — that of creation — in the 
Lower House. 


1 For authorities on Evolution see Dr. Julian Huxley's Evolution: The 
Modern Synthesis, 1942. 

2 Weidenreich, Franz, " The Skull of Sinanthropus Pekinensis." 
Palxontologia Sinica, new series, D, No. 10, 1943. 

3 Vallois, Henri V., L' Anthropologic, 1937, vol. 47, p. 499- 

* Pearson, Karl, The Grammar of Science, Everyman ed., 1937, pp. 63, 347. 

5 Finot.Jean, Race Prejudice, 1906, p. 163. 

6 Huxley, Julian, Evolution : The Modern Synthesis, 1942, p. 50 

7 Keith, Sir A., Nature, 1936, vol. 138, p. 194; Weidenreich, Franz, 
Palaontologica Sinica, 1943, new series, D, No. 10. 

8 Weismann, A., Studies in the Theory of Descent, 1882. 

9 Wood-Jones, Professor F., Mans Place amongst the Mammals, 1929, p. 16; 
Design and Purpose, 1942. 

10 Pearson, Karl, Ann. ofEug., 1930, p. 1. 

11 For a criticism of Pearson's theory see Dr. R. A. Fisher, Nature, 1930, 
vol. 126, p. 246; The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection, 1930, p. 116. 

12 For literature on Trends see Dr. Julian Huxley's Evolution, 1942. 

13 Weidenreich, Franz, Palxontologica Sinica, 1942, new series, D, No. 10. 

14 See Constantin von Economo's Cytoarchitectonics of the Human Cerebral 
Cortex, Oxford, 1929, p. 23. This authority gives the number of nerve cells 
in the cortex of a human brain as 14,000 million; if we include the whole 
brain this number would probably be twice that sum. 



Synopsis. — Darwin ultimately was of opinion that evolution was 
possible without isolation. His reason for coming to this conclusion. 
The importance he attached to " conditions " also varied. In the 
post-Darwinian period Romanes sought to establish isolation as an 
essential factor in evolution. This is also the author's opinion. 
Romanes's theory of physiological isolation. His theory of psycho' 
logical isolation, which is quite different from that formulated by the 
author. The Descent of Man as a source book. The discovery of 
genes gave a new significance to isolation. Sewall Wright's opinion 
of isolation as a factor. Isolation implies inbreeding. Selection of 
mates is a form of isolation. Some results of inbreeding. The effects 
of isolation as seen in insular populations. Primal groups were 
separate by language, custom, tradition, and many other circumstances. 
Inbreeding lessens the range of variability. The results of inbreeding' 
depend on the nature of the genes concerned. In the Pleistocene period 
human evolution proceeded at a relatively rapid pace. The author's 
group theory makes this possible. Social communities of all kinds of 
vertebrate animals are kept apart by psychological isolation. 

In 1868, eight years after the publication of the Origin of Species, 
Darwin received from Moritz Wagner a brochure 1 which sought 
to prove that geographical isolation or segregation is the chief 
means by which a new variety or species is brought into existence. 
My readers already know that it was the peculiarities of the fauna 
and flora which had become isolated in the Galapagos Islands that 
first set Darwin thinking about the transmutation of species. He 
informed Hooker in 1844 that he was of opinion that " isolation 
is the chief concomitant or cause of the appearance of new 
forms " ; 2 but later he changed his mind when he observed that 
the richest sources of new species were to be found on wide cpn- 



tinental areas where there were no geographical barriers ; hence 
isolation fell from the high place he had given to it originally. 
After thanking Wagner for the new facts which he had laid 
before him, Darwin went on : " But I must still believe that in 
many large areas all the individuals of the same species have been 
slowly modified, in the same manner, for instance, as the English 
racehorses have been improved, that is by the continual selection 
of the fleetist individuals, without separation." 3 It does not seem 
to have occurred to Darwin that although English studs were not 
" geographically isolated," yet in a very strict sense our race- 
horses do constitute a separated or isolated community. Even 
in the instance he had cited he had not escaped from his dilemma ; 
the moment a breeder begins to select sires and dams for his herd 
he is bringing into practice a form of isolation. 

How, then, did Darwin explain the origin of numerous varieties 
of the same species on a wide tract of unbroken country? Let me 
give his explanation in his own words : " In North America, in 
going from north to south, or from east to west, it is clear that 
the changed conditions of life have modified the organisms in 
the different regions, so that they now form distinct races or even 
species." 4 Here Darwin attributes to locality a power of pro- 
ducing new varieties without the aid of isolation. He is even 
more explicit as to the importance of the action of conditions in 
a passage which is taken from The Descent of Man : " The races of 
mankind have been similarly produced . . . the modifications 
being either the direct result of exposure to different conditions, 
or the indirect result of some form of selection." 5 The truth 
is that Darwin's mind wavered much as to the importance which 
was to be attached both to " isolation " and to " conditions or 
environment " as factors in evolution. Three years before the 
Origin oj Species was published he told Hooker that " the conclusion 
I have come to is that external conditions do by themselves very 
little," 6 whereas later, as we have just seen, he attached to them a 
role of the highest importance. It is his earlier opinion that I, in 
common with most students of evolution, now accept as true. The 
food which a people eat, its richness in vitamins and mineral 
salts, the climate y and mode of life, certainly influence the health 
and growth of their bodies, but leave their germ-plasm untouched. 
If we plant an English colony in the heart of Africa, so long as it 
retains its isolation it will breed true to type, except in one respect. 


The tropical climate will favour those strains in the colony which 
best answer to the new conditions. Conditions, as Darwin 
usually acknowledged, serve as factors in evolution only when 
they act as selective agencies. Or we may reverse the experi- 
ment and plant a colony of Negroes in a land of white men. If 
the black genes are kept from mixing with the white, our 
Africans will breed true to type. Although I hold that external 
conditions or environment are effective in changing type only in 
so far as they act as selective agencies, yet I have to admit that the 
evidence gathered by Boas 7 leaves little doubt that " new 
conditions " can directly and immediately lead to an increase of 
stature and a change of head form. 

I have just quoted from a letter which Darwin wrote to his 
friend Hooker in 1856; I return to that letter because it contains 
a statement which fits in with my own way of thinking. In 
answer to certain propositions Hooker had- pressed on him he 
replied : " I cannot agree with your proposition that time, 
altered conditions and altered associates are convertible terms. 
I look at the first (time) and the last (altered associates) as far more 
important : time being important only so far as giving scope to 
selection." This statement, interpreted in terms of human 
evolution, I take to mean that, so far as primitive man is con- 
cerned, the chief " external conditions " were represented by his 
fellow men, with men of his own group with whom he lived in . 
amity, and with men of other groups with whom he lived in a 
state of enmity. As Karl Pearson said in 1904 : "It is the stock 
itself which forms the home environment." 8 

Darwin died in 1882; fifteen years later there appeared a work 
on isolation, 9 by G. J. Romanes (1848-94). Romanes was a 
convinced isolationist; "without isolation," he declared, "or 
the prevention of intercrossing, organic evolution is in no case 
possible," 10 a declaration which, so far as it concerns human 
evolution, I accept without reserve. As regards the mode in 
which geographical isolation furthers the process of evolution, 
Romanes accepted the explanation which had" been given by the 
Rev. T. Gulick and others — namely, that if part of a species is 
cut off by a geographical barrier, the colony so cut off will 
carry characters which are either above or below the average 
characters of the parent species. 11 In the course of generations the 
colony so cut off will diverge either in the direction of its excess or 


of its deficiency. " The very essence of the principle being that, 
when divergence of type has once begun, the divergence must 
ipso facto proceed at an ever-accelerating pace," 12 a close antici- 
pation of the Pearsonian theory of 1930 (see Essay XIV, p. 132J. 

So much for geographical isolation; but what of those 
numerous cases where a species extending widely over an un- 
broken tract of country has become divided into a series of local 
varieties? To meet such cases Romanes invented a new theory 
to which he gave, the name of " physiological isolation " ; this, 
in reality, was a theory of infertility. He assumed that along the 
lines which separated one local variety from another there had 
arisen a partial infertility which, as it increased, came gradually 
to isolate neighbouring varieties. Romanes's theory had no 
foundation in observed fact. Modern biologists are agreed that 
infertility is not a cause, but a consequence, of the separation or 
isolation of a speciesnnto local varieties. 

Romanes mentions also another mode of isolation, to which he 
gave the name " psychological selection." 12 He defines this 
mode of selection (which is also one of isolation) as " the tendency 
of the members of a variety to breed with one another." The 
following quotation from the Origin of Species proves that Darwin 
also recognized this form of isolation: " I can bring forwards a 
considerable body of facts showing that within the same area, 
two varieties of the same animal may long remain distinct, from 
haunting different stations, from breeding at slightly different 
seasons, or from the individuals of each variety preferring to pair 
together." 13 He also knew that among horses and fallow deer, 
when free to do so, there was a tendency for the males to seek out 
females of the same colour. 14 Galton also recognized that 
" varieties are separated by mating preferences." 15 In Essay V 
I have already touched upon the tendency of Like to seek out Like 
in mating, but so far as concerns human evolution this form of 
selection or isolation has played but a minor role. 

Now, I am of opinion that isolation is an essential factor in the 
process of evolution. For these thirty years I have been gather- _ 
ing information from all parts of the earth inhabited by primitive 
humanity, and everywhere I have found it separated into com- 
munities or tribes which are resolute in their determination to 
remain separate and independent. Why they remain apart I have 
sought to explain in the preceding essays. My explanation or 


theory is of a mental or psychological nature, but it is altogether 
different from that enunciated by Romanes. My explanation of 
isolation is based on the fact that human nature is dual both in its 
constitution and in its mode of action. Human nature acts so 
as to keep the members of a group or tribe together and at the 
same time apart from other groups or tribes. Human nature is so 
constituted as spontaneously to attain two opposite codes of 
behaviour — one, the code of amity, to serve within the group, the 
other the code of enmity, to serve outside the group. Thus I 
assume that human groups are isolated from one another by the 
unceasing action of inborn mental qualities. Another part of 
my evolutionary credo is that human nature has grown up, or been 
evolved, in the service of evolution. 

When I set out to test the truth of my theory that mental isola- 
tion has been, and is, a factor in human evolution, it was in 
The Descent of Man that I found most of the corroborative 
evidence, particularly in Chapters III, IV, and V, which, in 
reality, deal with the evolution of human nature. Darwin 
knew that primitive humanity was divided into isolated groups, 
that members of such groups were sympathetic to one another 
and were unsympathetic to members of other groups, and that in 
the evolutionary struggle, group competed against group. 16 
Yet nowhere does he suggest that the separation of mankind into 
groups has an evolutionary significance, nor does he on any page 
attribute group isolation as being due to a peculiar action of 
human nature. Such omissions can be understood when we 
turn to a letter which Darwin addressed to August Weismann in 
1872, fully a year after the publication of The Descent of Man. 17 
Darwin had just received and read Weismann's treatise The 
Influence of Isolation on Species-formation. 16 " I have now read 
your essay with very great interest," wrote Darwin. " Your 
view of local races through amixie (inbreeding) is altogether 
new to me." This is a statement quite unexpected from one 
who had always insisted that " no breed could be produced if free 
intercrossing is permitted." A later statement also surprises us. 
In a letter written in 1878 to another German Professor 19 we find 
Darwin saying, " Nor do I see at all more clearly • • . how and 
why it is that a long isolated form should almost always become 
slightly modified." From these statements we learn that when 
Darwin wrote The Descent of Man he did not regard isolation' and 


inbreeding as important factors in the production of human 
races, and therefore failed to realize that the separation of early 
mankind into isolated groups had a high evolutionary significance. 

With the establishment of Mendelianism and the discovery 
that the characters of one generation are transmitted to the next 
by means of discrete living particles known as genes, the reason 
for isolation being an important factor in evolution became more 
apparent. Let us look on a group of primitive humanity as the 
bearers of an assemblage of genes; that assemblage is cut off from 
all surrounding assemblages; no strange genes are allowed into 
the group. With repeated matings the genes which circulate 
within the group enter into new combinations and give rise to 
individuals in which old characters are combined in new ways. 
As we have already seen (p. 133), trends appear in such groups; 
there is a tendency for certain of the characters to become ex- 
aggerated in a definite direction; genes may mutate or change 
and give rise to new characters within the group. How, then, 
do such isolated groups behave in an evolutionary sense ? Here is 
Professor Sewall Wright's opinion : 20 " If a given species is 
isolated into breeding colonies in such a way that there is but little 
emigration between them ... in the course of time the species 
will become divided into local races." Professor Allee 21 agrees 
with Professor Wright, and so does Dr. R. A. Fisher. 22 In the 
opinion of Dr. Fisher " partially isolated local races of small 
size . . . favour progressive evolution and the formation of new 
species by fission." With the latter's statement Dr. Huxley is in 
agreement, his opinion being expressed thus : " The smaller the 
size of a natural population and the more perfectly it is isolated, 
the more likely is ' drift ' to proceed to its limit, resulting either in 
the complete loss of a mutation from the group, or in its fixation 
in all the individuals of the group." 23 Thus we may say that 
isolation now occupies an assured and important place in the 
" machinery of evolution." It is a condition, not a cause, of 
evolution. The assemblage of genes within an isolated group of 
humanity is given an opportunity of developing quickly and 
effectively all its latent potentialities. 

Isolation and inbreeding are, in reality, convertible terms, for if 
a human group is effectively isolated it must inbreed. It will 
assist my readers to realize how quickly inbreeding may bring 
about structural changes if I cite a few illustrative instances. De 


Vries crossed two clover plants each of which had a few four- 
lobcd leaves, and by inbreeding produced plants with five-lobed 
leaves. Guinea-pigs have normally four toes on their front feet, 
and three on their hind. My friend, Professor C. R. Stockard, 24 
mated animals with rudiments of a fourth toe on their hind feet 
and ultimately succeeded in producing a race with four toes on 
both feet, and believed if he had gone on that he could have pro- 
duced a five-toed race. Dahlberg 25 relates that Graham Bell, 
by inbreeding the progeny of ewes with extra teats, succeeded 
in producing animals with six teats in place of the normal two. 

Populations inhabiting small and remote islands provide 
opportunities of estimating the effects of isolation and inbreeding. 
The evidence which is at hand on this matter would require a 
volume for its adequate treatment, not the short paragraph I am 
to give it. " Smaller islands," says Julian Huxley, " give quicker 
changes than large adjacent islands." 26 The islands of the 
Mediterranean provide many instances of the changes which 
follow isolation. Keane, in describing the inhabitants of Sardinia, 
uses these terms : " The Sards would almost seem to be cast in one 
mould. . . . They have the shortest stature, the brownest hair, 
the longest heads and the swarthiest complexion of all Italian 
populations." 27 Many of the populations of the smaller islands 
of the Mediterranean are characterized by peculiarities of their 
head forms and blood-groupings. A dominant gene, or combina- 
tion of genes, such as determine form of head or group of blood, 
once introduced into an island population may, in the course of 
repeated matings, infect the whole population, thus transforming a 
long-headed people into a short-headed one. 28 Dr. Hansen 
reported thus on the natives of the Faroes : " The fiords and 
valleys of the islands facilitated the formation of small com- 
munities, differing in mental capacity as in bodily form. Such 
communities could not fail, when removed to small distant 
islands, to develop into distinct local types." 29 The ancient 
inhabitants of the Canary Islands were differentiated into island 
tribes. 30 It is not too much to say that each of the smaller islands 
in the wide Pacific Ocean has a population which is peculiar to 
itself. I shall content myself with citing only one instance. Sir 
William Flower when reporting on a collection of skulls, repre- 
senting a single tribe of an island of the Fiji group, remarked, 
" Nothing could be more striking than their wonderful 


similarity." It was even greater than he had observed among the 
skulls of Andaman Islanders. 31 

Populations may be isolated in many more ways than those I 
have mentioned. " A savage tribe," observed Malthus (1766- 
1834), " surrounded by enemies, or a civilized, populous nation 
hemmed in by others, is in the same position as islanders." 32 
National groups and tribes are isolated by their differing forms of 
speech. The inhabitants of the Andaman Islands were divided 
into nine tribes, each having its own dialect. In primal times the 
speech of offshoots of an expanding tribe became, in the course of 
a few centuries, differentiated into dialects. In six centuries the 
English of Chaucer's time has become changed into our language 
of to-day. Primitive tribes were separated by diversity of 
interests, by diversity of custom, of tradition, of myth and song, 
of gods and totems, just as are modern nations. Bagehot ex- 
plained the separation of early groups thus : " The necessity of 
forming co-operative groups by fixed customs, explains the 
necessity of isolation in early society." 33 This explanation 
places the cart before the horse. 

Isolation and inbreeding create a more uniform population; 
variability is reduced. Is not this a hindrance to progressive 
evolution? Let us hear what a biometrician, Dr. G. M. Morant, 
has to say about the extent to which variability is reduced. " The 
most marked exceptions (in the amount of variability) are found 
for samples from communities which are known to have been 
segregated for considerable periods, such as certain island peoples, 
and for these variation is appreciably smaller than for other 
peoples." 34 Inbreeding, then, does reduce variability, but not 
to an extent which prohibits evolutionary change. Professor 
Karl Pearson 35 estimated that the reduction is not more than 
twelve per cent. It is not the amount of variation that matters, 
but its direction ; so long as the variations are in the same direction 
progress will be made. 

What of the alleged evils of inbreeding ? All depends on the 
quality of the genes assembled in the group pool; if all are health- 
giving, then all will be well; but if there be a proportion, even a 
small proportion,, of defective or recessive genes, then repeated 
mating within a small isolated group will speedily bring defective 
genes together, so damaging the life of a group. If in small pro- 
portion, carriers of evil genes may be eliminated, but if defective 


members of a group become so numerous that the group is 
unable to maintain its place in competition with its neighbours, 
then such a group is speedily eliminated, its evil genes disappearing 
with it. Thus it will be seen that evolution, as carried out in a 
human population divided into small, isolated competing groups, 
gives quick returns ; the passage of a number of generations is 
sufficient to prove whether a new group is to be a hit or a miss. 

When we compare the known representative of humanity at 
the beginning of the Pleistocene Age with the men who succeeded 
them towards the close of that period, we cannot help marvelling 
at the rate at which evolutionary changes had been effected — even 
if we assume that the Plei:tocene Age covers a million of years. 
At first I was greatly exercised to find an evolutionary machinery 
which could give such rapid results. 36 It was only when the 
truth of the group theory dawned on me, when I became assured 
that until the dawn of civilization the total human population 
of the earth had been divided into a mosaic of small, isolated, 
competing communities, that I found a machinery adequate for 
my needs. Nor was I by any means the first to perceive that the 
division of a population into numerous small independent groups 
provides exceptional opportunities for a rapid change in racial 
characters, as is shown by the following passage from a paper 
written by Professor Metcalf in 1922 : " Human racial diversities, 
I believe, cannot be maintained now that isolation is about to 
become a thing of the past." 37 

Human societies, then, are isolated from one another by an 
instinctive action of human nature. I seem to be alone in 
regarding human nature as an isolating agency ; the reader must 
judge from my evidence how far I am justified in thinking so. 
Primitive man was prejudiced in favour of his own community 
and equally prejudiced against members of other communities; 
thus was isolation maintained. Nor are such prejudices really 
dead in the modern world of mankind. Do I, then, maintain 
that only human groups are kept apart by a o mental prejudice? 
By no means. In Essay V I have already discussed " group 
consciousness " and the instinctive faculty which all social verte- 
brate animals have of detecting members of their pwn community 
and their aversion to receiving strangers as members of that com- 
munity. Isolation so maintained is of a psychological nature. 
Throughout the major part of the vertebrate kingdom the organ 


of smell serves as trie instrument of discrimination, but in birds 
the organs of sight and hearing are used for this purpose. In the 
class of Primates, of which man is a member, the eye and the ear 
are also the organs used in the recognition of group membership. 
A tribesman knows his fellows by their features, by their gait, and 
by their speech. 

One other objection may be raised to my theory of mental 
isolation. In the modern world sex passions break across all 
racial barriers ; they have no respect for frontiers of any kind. 
Would they not have been equally free and roving in primal 
times ? This problem comes up for discussion in the essay which 


1 Wagner, Moritz, Die Darwinische Theorie und das Migrationsgesetz, 1868. 

2 Darwin, Francis, T\ic Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, 1888, vol. 2, p. 28. 

3 Ibid., p. 157. 

4 Ibid., vol. 3, p. 161. 

' 5 Darwin, Charles, The Descent of Man, Murray, 1913, p. 281. 

6 Darwin, Francis, The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, vol. 2, p. 87. 

7 Boas, Franz, Changes in Bodily Form of Descendants of Immigrants, 1912. 
See criticism by Morant and Samson, Biometrika, 1936, vol. 28, p. 1. 

8 Pearson, Karl, Jour. Roy. Anthrop. Inst., 1904, vol. 33, p. 206. 

9 Romanes, G. J., Darwin and after Darwin, 1897. 

10 Ibid., p. 345. 

11 Ibid., p. in. 

12 Ibid., p. 124. 

13 Darwin, Charles, Origin of Species, 6th ed., chap. IV, p. 81. 

14 Darwin, Charles, The Descent of Man, Murray, 1913, p. 825. 

15 Pearson, Karl, Life ofGalton, vol. 2, p. 272. 

16 See Essay V, p. 38. 

17 Darwin, Francis, The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, vol. 3, p. 155. 

18 Weismann, A., Ueber den Einfiuss der Isolirung, auf die Artbildung, 1872. 

19 Darwin, Francis, The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, vol. 3, p. 161. 

20 Wright, Sewall, Genetics, 193 1, vol. 16, p. 97. 

21 Allee, W. C, Social Life of Animals, 1939, p. 183. 

22 Fisher, R. A., Eugenics Rev., 1931, p. 89. 

23 Huxley, Julian, Evolution: The Modern Synthesis, 1942, p. 59. 

24 Stockard, C. R., Amer.Jour. of Anat., 1930, vol. 45, p. 345. 
26 Dahlberg, G., Race, Reason, and Rubbish, 1942, p. 61. 

26 Huxley, Julian, Evolution: The Modem Synthesis, 1942, p. 238. 

27 Keane, A. H., Man: Past and Present, new ed., 1920, p. 461. 

28 Fisher, R. A., The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection, 1930. 

29 Hansen, S.,Jour. Roy. Anthrop. Inst., 1912, vol. 42, p. 485. 

30 Hooton, E. A., The Ancient Inhabitants of the Canary Islands, Harvard 
African Studies, vol. 7, 1925. 


31 flower, Sir William, Jour. Roy. Anthrop. Inst., 1880, vol. 10, p. I. 

32 Malthus, Rev. T. R., An Essay on the Primiple of Population, chap. V. 

33 Bagehot, Walter, Physics and Politics, p. 37. 

34 Morant, G. M., Man, 1934, p. 103. 

35 Pearson, Karl, The Grammar of Science, Everyman ed. 5 p. 346. 

36 Keith, Sir A., Nature, 1925, vol. 116, p. 317. 

37 Metcalf, M. M., University of Buffalo Studies, 1922, vol. 2, p. 137. 



Synopsis. — The author resumes ivriting after an interval during which 
events of great evolutionary significance occurred. Extensive hybridiza- 
tion has taken place in the modern world. How sex passion was con- 
trolled and restricted in the ancient or primal world. Group opinion 
is the restraining power in ancient as in modern times. How mating 
is controlled (i) in anthropoid communities; (2) in primitive human 
communities. Early human communities were inbreeding or endoga- 
mous small societies. A form of exogamy ivas practised by anthropoid 
communities. There are certain tendencies towards monogamy among 
anthropoids. This tendency, the author assumes, became developed in 
groups of early humanity. The evolution of maternal feelings accom- 
panied prolongation of the periods of pregnancy and of nursing. Wester- 
march, and Frazer on mating in primitive human societies. The 
evolution of " compound " societies. The origin of exogamy in 
compound groups. The classijicatory system. The origin of group 
marriage. The rise of individual marriages. In human communities 
exogamy is combined with endogamy. A review of the theories of 
exogamy. Its purpose and its effects illustrated. Exogamy was a 
means of consolidating enlarged compound communities. A conscious- 
ness of incest arose late in the evolution of human societies. Social 
effects of incest. The effects of inbreeding. 

At this point there occurred a break in the writing of these essays 
which deserves to be noted. The preceding essays were written 
in the first seven months of 1945, Essay XV being finished in the 
last week of July. It was while so engaged that a momentous 
event occurred — the unconditional surrender of the German 
host to the Allie*d Nations (7th May, 1945). Essay XV being 
finished, I had then to devote myself to another task — namely, the 
revision of my text-book on Human Embryology and Mor- 



phology, which occupied the remaining months of 1945. It was 
while I was so occupied that another event of the first magnitude 
happened — the unconditional surrender of Japan (14th August, 
1945), thus bringing the second world war to an end. And now 
as I take up my pen to resume essay-writing at the end of the 
second week of January, 1946, an event of even greater signifi- 
cance to students of human evolution than the two just chronicled 
is taking place under my eyes in London. There, representatives 
of fifty-one nations have assembled to establish a central govern- 
ment for the whole world. If the United Nations Organization 
(U.N.O.) succeeds in its Herculean task, then human evolution 
will have entered a completely new and untried phase. Hitherto 
evolutionary units (nations) have resorted to war in order to 
defend or advance their interests ; in the new phase co-operation 
is to replace contention. Hitherto the destiny or evolution of 
peoples has been decided in the rough and tumble of the world; 
now man's evolution will have to be planned and humanized. 
Fortunately for me, I need not concern myself overmuch with the 
future of man's evolution ; I am rapidly approaching the eightieth 
milestone of my life's journey; younger heads will have to 
unravel the future of human evolution. In the meantime I 
return in this essay to a consideration of the conditions amid 
which man made his evolutionary ascent during the long primal 
period of his history, the period which was succeeded by that of 
civilization (post-primal) in which we still are. 

I picked up the thread of my discourse by returning to the query 
posed at the end of the preceding essay : " In the modern world sex 
passions break across all racial barriers ; they have no respect for 
frontiers of any kind. Would they not have been equally free and 
roving in primal times? " I admit unreservedly the imperious 
strength of man's sexual passion ; of all the mental qualities which 
go to make up the galaxy of human nature, it is the most difficult 
to. bring under, and keep under, the control of the will. In all 
the remoter regions of the earth into which men have strayed, 
singly or in battalion, from the settled homes of the Old World, 
we find the most ample evidence of the ^discriminate way in 
which their sexual needs have been satisfied among native peoples. 
If this is so in the modern world, why was it not equally the case 
in the primal world? Long-distance migrations which made 
miscegenation on a great scale possible are modern phenomena; 


they became possible in post-primal times when food was pro- 
duced and ships invented. In primal times every group was sur- 
rounded and hemmed in by other groups. More important as a 
solution to our problem of the restriction and control of the sex 
passion among primal peoples is a consideration of the manner in 
which this passion is domesticated and kept within bounds in 
modern societies. I can best illustrate my thesis by reminding 
readers of the differing fates which befell the Spaniards and the 
Englishmen who settled in the New World during the sixteenth 
and seventeenth centuries. 1 The Englishmen took their wives 
and their families with them; they established white com- 
munities, in which public opinion became all-powerful when 
moral issues were involved. Marrying natives was condemned 
and the communities bred white. The Spaniards, for the greater 
part, left their wives and children behind them; under such 
conditions white communities could not be established and sex 
passions demanded, and were given, local satisfaction. I do not 
claim a stronger sense of race purity for the Englishman than for 
the Spaniard; all I assert is that the sexual passions of the English- 
man were subject to the vigorous and vigilant opinion of his 
community, while those of the Spaniard were left free of such 
control. We shall see that in primal communities neither man 
nor woman could escape from the scrutiny of their group, nor 
from its condemnation or approval, as the case might be. 

If we seek light on the conditions under which primal man 
mated and begot children, I know of only two sources from which 
we may obtain it — namely, living communities of chimpanzees 
and of gorillas — the two anthropoids most akin to man in 
structure and in mentality — and from such communities of 
primitive humanity as are still to be found in outlying regions of 
the earth. To illustrate the manner in which mating and the 
rearing of young are managed in an anthropoid community 2 
let us take a chimpanzee group of fifteen individuals, made up of 
three adult males, # six adult females, and six young animals at 
various stages of growth. As we have seen (Essays IV, V, XII), 
such a group represents a " closed " society; it resents with tooth 
and nail the intrusion of a stranger into its ranks, much as it does 
the open enemy which threatens injury ; it unconsciously seeks to 
maintain the purity of its stock of seed or genes, and to hand on 
uncontaminated to a new generation the stock entrusted to it by a 


preceding generation. Our chimpanzee group thus forms an 
inbreeding, endogamous — I might truly say an incestuous — 
society; its members stand in the closest blood relationship to 
each other ; the male chimpanzee, so far as we know, when in 
search of a mate, makes no distinction between mother, sister, 
or cousin. There must have been a time in the earlier phases of 
man's evolution when he, too, was equally unconscious of blood 
relationship, and when endogamy was the standard practice. 

There is, however, a considerable body of evidence which leads 
us to surmise that among chimpanzees, as in all groups of the 
higher Primates, a compulsory form of exogamy is practised. 
As many male as female chimpanzees are born, yet in each group 
the grown females outnumber the males; there is a missing 
percentage of males. Further, sex jealousy is strongly developed 
in male chimpanzees, ending in the death or expulsion of one of 
the contestant males. All who have studied anthropoids in the 
jungle have observed stray or "rogue" males; but so far no 
observer has seen one of those rogues crashing its way into a 
strange group or seeking to entice females to join him and so form 
a new group. Yet we are justified in believing that such things 
do happen, and in this way new seed is introduced to old groups, 
and so a form of exogamy is instituted, very different, as we shall 
see, from modern human practice. Among gibbons, it is interest- 
ing to note, 3 young females, as well as males, are expelled from 
their groups. 

Monogamy is not an anthropoid practice ; matings at most are 
for a season. Yet it is of interest to note that among the earlier 
and oldest form of surviving anthropoids, the gibbon, mating is 
prolonged and both parents share in the care of their young. 4 
It may well be that this tendency to prolonged mating had 
appeared early in the human stem, and so have led the human 
male to take a " paternal " interest in the progeny of his mate. 
In captivity the male chimpanzee does, on occasion, manifest a 
paternal interest in the young. In captivity, too, the chimpanzee 
has sexual intercourse at all seasons; the female is subject to 
periods of rut which compel her to seek sexual gratification. 8 
Most authorities are of opinion that anthropoids in their native 
habitat, unlike human beings, are seasonal in their manifestations 
of sex, intercourse occurring so that the young are born in the 
spring months of the year. 


Before dismissing anthropoid communities from our considera- 
tion, it is important that we should note the high development of 
the maternal " instinct " which is met with among them. As the 
period of pregnancy increases in length the maternal solicitude of 
the primate mother increases in power and in duration. The 
following are the periods of pregnancy in some of the higher 
Primates: 6 rhesus monkey, 166 days; gibbon, 209 days; 
chimpanzee, 23 5 days ; man, 266 days. Broadly speaking, there 
has been an increase of a month in each of these stages leading 
from monkey to man; and with each increase there has been a 
lengthening of the period in which the young needs and receives 
care after birth. The baby chimpanzee remains a suckling in its 
mother's care for the first eight months of life; at the end of this 
period she tends it as it learns to climb and to master gradually 
the anthropoid gait ; it needs her maternal care until it enters its 
fourth year, when \he maternal bonds cease to hold and the 
young chimpanzee takes its place among the juveniles of the 
group. The chimpanzee child attains a degree of independence in 
its fourth year which is equivalent to that reached by the human 
child in its eighth or ninth year ; maternal care is prolonged to a 
corresponding extent ; in the human family the maternal bond is 
never broken, at least this is so in modern human societies. Thus 
a chimpanzee group or community is really an extended or 
consanguine family made up of individuals which are closely 
related to one another in a genetical sense. All the adults are 
parents of the group ; all the young are the children of the group. 

I now pass on to review very briefly what is known of mating 
and matrimony in communities of living primitive peoples. 
The way has been cleared for me by the pioneer labours of two 
men — Westermarck 7 and Frazer. 8 Dr. Edward Westcrmarck 
died in 1939 at the age of seventy-six ; Sir James G. Frazer in 194.1 
at the age of eighty-seven; both leaving behind them vast 
monuments of fact and of inference relating to the marital customs 
of peoples living in a tribal state. From facts cited by them, and 
from what has just been said about the mating habits of anthro- 
poids, I am convinced that the groups into which primal humanity 
was separated were inbreeding or endogamous communities. 
To their inferences there is one I would add here, one relating to 
the composition of early human groups. It is possible, even at 
the begirining of the Pleistocene period, when mankind was 


represented in Java by Pithecanthropus, in China by Sinan- 
thropus, and in England by Eoanthropus, that mankind was 
then grouped, just as the gorilla and chimpanzee still are, into 
single large consanguine families. 

About that time, or soon after, I infer that an important change 
took place in the composition of the primal human group; 
the group became compound — that is, it was no longer com- 
posed of a single unit, as among chimpanzees, but was made up 
of two or more units (consanguine groups). My reasons for 
making this assumption are two in number. First, we have to 
account for the fact that the most primitive human groups known 
to us are really compound in their composition; secondly, the 
prevalence and power of the factor of aggregation have been so 
potent throughout the period of human history known to us. 
By aggregation I mean the tendency of neighbouring units to 
coalesce, as a result of compulsion or of negotiation, thus obtaining 
increased security and power by their union. We have records 
in all historical times of groups being united to form clans, of 
clans being united to form tribes, of tribes being united to form 
small nations, and of small nations being united to form great 
nations. We must never forget the chief enemy which evolving 
groups of early humanity had to overcome ; the main threat to 
which they were exposed was neither hunger nor wild beasts, 
but that which came from neighbouring groups of their own 
species. Under this ever-present danger compound groups of 
humanity came to be formed. It may be that they arose, not 
from the union of neighbouring groups, but from the division of 
overgrown single units, the newly formed group remaining with 
the parent group instead of separating from it. The idea I have 
been expounding was known to Andrew Lang, who wrote: 
" The largest assemblage of individuals . . . living in amity 
has the best chance of survival." 9 

To trace the origin of out-marriage or exogamy as practised 
by primitive humanity, I shall assume that we have before our 
eyes a compound group or clan just formed by the coming 
together of two consanguine groups which had hitherto been 
endogamous or inbreeding (incestuous) units. If these two units, 
living side by side, continue as ihbreeders, then their interests 
must remain diverse ; there can be no unity of action, no social 
unity. But suppose the two groups agree to exchange their 


marriageable young men, then the two groups become linked by 
the closest of social ties; they come to have a common, dominant 
interest which gives collective strength to the compound group. 
In this way I supposp the practice of exogamy was introduced. It 
was introduced because it was found to give an extended social 
security. It will be seen, then, that I am of opinion that the 
earliest form of human mating or marriage took the form of 
group exchange. Thus in a compound group, so united, 
endogamy and exogamy were conjoined in practice. 

In support of what I have just written I would cite statements 
relating to tribes of Central Australia given by Frazer. The 
Arunta is a tribe whose territory lies to the south of Alice Springs. 
They now practise exogamy, being divided into eight inter- 
marrying groups or classes. Their tradition, however, is that 
at one time they were strict endogamists. " Very different," 
writes Frazer, 10 " w*as the state of things in the past, if we may 
trust tradition, the evidence of which points back to a time when a 
man always married a woman of his own totem (clan.) The 
reference to men and women of one totem always living together 
in groups would appear to be too frequent and explicit to admit 
of any other satisfactory explanation." Both Wcstermarck and 
Frazer give lists of endogamous tribes. 

To the south of the Arunta and to the west of Lake Eyre is 
the territory of the Urabunna tribe, of which Frazer gives the 
following account : — 

" In Australia we are not left merely to infer the former 
prevalence of group marriage from the group relationships 
of the classificatory system, for a form of group marriage 
persists to the present time in certain of the central tribes, 
particularly in the Urabunna, and in the Dieri. In the 
Urabunna tribe, as in all the tribes with which we are 
dealing, certain groups of men and women are by birth 
marriageable to each other. . . . And since in this tribe 
groups of women are thus common to groups of men, it 
naturally follows that the children born of such unions are 
also common to the groups." u 

If we bring together two primal groups of humanity, organized 
as anthropoid groups are, then group marriage of the sort just 
described is the most probable sequel. The classificatory system, 


of which Frazer speaks, implies that all the adults of a group are 
regarded as parents, while all juveniles of the group are regarded 
as their children, and therefore as brothers and sisters. On 
another page n Frazer makes this claim : " In short, group 
marriage explains group relationship, and it is hard to see what 
else can do so." Here 1 think the great scholar has placed the 
cart in front of the horse; the classificatory system was not 
invented to make group marriage possible ; the opposite was the 
case, group marriage was introduced to fit into the classificatory 
system, which, as I have indicated, was in existence, at a pre- 
human level of evolution. Out of the group system of marriage 
arose the individual practice where mating was arranged between 
male and female members of linked groups. Later still, in post- 
primal times, groups were disbanded, and lovers were free to 
exercise their fancy in the choice of mates. The evolutionary 
effects of such changes will come up for consideration in a later 

Writers are apt to presume that when an enlarged or compound 
group adopted the practice of exogamy the practice of endogamy 
or inbreeding was lost. This was not so; the adoption of 
exogamy but enlarged the group in which endogamy was still 
practised. Exogamy prospered because of its social effects; 
it bound together the units of a compound group by marital ties, 
thus giving it common interests and incentives for common 
action. A group which practised exogamy would be stronger 
and more enduring than a neighbouring group whose units 
retained their endogamous habits ; the exogamous groups were 
selected and survived. Frazer was of the opinion that exogamy 
had been deliberately introduced as a policy by tribal elders, who 
were gifted with statesmanlike qualities of mind. That may very 
well have been the case in later stages of human evolution, but 
as regards the earlier stages it seems to me that exogamy was 
forced on primal humanity hi search of security rather than by 
any deliberate choice on the part of its elders. 

Let us look very briefly at the explanations which other writers 
have given of the practice of exogamy by primitive peoples. 
In Westermarck's opinion 13 the force which drove man to 
exogamy were .the needs of his sexual appetite; it turned away, 
so he believed, from what was familiar and at hand; it was 
attracted and stimulated by the strange and distant. Exogamy 


is strictly regulated and ill-designed to answer the purpose which 
Westermarck ascribed to it. Frazer shared in the explanation 
given by L. H. Morgan (1877), which he stated in the following 
terms: 14 "Morgan held that sexual promiscuity prevailed 
universally at a very early period of human history, and that 
exogamy was instituted to prevent the marriage or cohabitation 
of blood relations." Now, to institute measures against incest, 
men and women must be conscious of the relationships implied by 
the terms " father," " daughter," " mother," " son," " sister," 
" brother." Anthropoid apes know nothing of such terms and 
relationships. When did mankind come to this knowledge? 
It could not well have been at an early date, seeing that there are 
still some peoples who are ignorant of the fact that sexual inter- 
course is a necessary prelude to conception. If, however, we assume 
that exogamy was instituted, not to prevent incest, but to give 
solidarity and strength to a community by uniting its sub-groups 
by marital ties, then ignorance of blood relationship ceases to be a 
valid objection. 

There can be no doubt as to the intensity of the horror which 
the thought of incest arouses in the human breast; the dread of it 
is universal. Is, then, the fear of incest one of man's inborn or 
instinctive fears? Evidence is against such a supposition; the 
animals most akin to man know nothing of it ; nor did early man. 
The fear of incest has become inherited as a vital element in the 
acquired tradition of every people. To break rules of exogamy 
is the most heinous of all crimes known to primitive peoples ; the 
sentence is death, even if the infraction is one which is not 
accounted incest by civilized peoples. To break the accepted 
values of exogamy is an injury to the solidarity of a social group. 

To get at the root of this matter readers must think for a 
moment of the conditions which would arise in a community if 
each family were to mate within itself. A multitude of inde- 
pendent inbreeding units would come into existence, destroying 
all group cohesion. Such a disrupted community must fall 
speedily apart. This result has been pointed out by several 
writers. 15 Nor am I alone in claiming as the chief merit of 
exogamy its po,wer to link together the sub-groups or clans 
of a tribe, thus consolidating the social life of such a tribe. 
" Exogamy," said Sir Edward Tylor, " keeps clans together." 16 
Lang and Atkinson 17 were of opinion that Nature aimed at 


giving a tribe social stability and that the means adopted was the 
practice of exogamy. Frazer was not "blind to the social advan- 
tages of exogamy, as the following passage proves : " A system 
which knit large groups of men and women together by the 
closest ties was more favourable to social progress than one which 
would have limited the family group to a single pair and their 
progeny." 18 

I have been seeking to explain the avoidance of incest and the 
practice of exogamy on the grounds that they give social integra- 
tion to a compound group. "Westermarck, on the other hand — 
and most anthropologists have followed his lead — sought for a 
biological or genetical explanation- — namely, that the group 
which inbred underwent a deterioration. The results of inbreed- 
ing were discussed in the preceding essay (p. 143), and the 
conclusion there reached was that all results depend on the nature 
of the seed involved : if the seed is sound, then the progeny will 
be sound ; if unsound, then the progeny will be unsound. The 
smaller the group the sooner will it profit from the merits of its 
seeds, and the sooner, too, will it suffer from their demerits. 
Small evolutionary groups favour rapidity of evolution. 

In the discussion just mentioned less than justice was done to 
the opinions held by Darwin as to the effects of inbreeding and of 
outbreeding ; I wish now to make some amends. When writing 
the Origin of Species he gave this opinion : "A cross between 
different varieties, or between individuals of the same variety but 
of another strain, gives vigour and fertility to the offspring; 
on the other hand . . . close interbreeding diminishes vigour and 
fertility." 19 Against this may be quoted the results of close 
inbreeding obtained by modern geneticists. Rabbits and rats 
have been closely inbred for many generations with no loss of 
vigour, fertility, or size of body; the opposite has been the 
result; all three qualities were increased. 20 Darwin admitted 
that " man is not highly sensitive to the evil effects of inter- 
breeding"; 21 he may have had' in mind his own case. He 
married his cousin and had a healthy and gifted family. More 
to the point of my argument is his statement regarding the 
speedy production of a new race by close inbreeding. " "With 
our domestic animals," wrote Darwin, 22 " a new race can readily 
be formed by careful matching of the varying offspring of a single 
pair, or even from a single individual possessing some new 


character." In this, modern breeders agree with Darwin; 23 
the closer the individuals of a group are inbred the sooner that 
group is likely to assume a new form. All of which is in harmony 
with my claim for the group theory — namely, that a multitude of 
small competing units provides effective means for securing a 
rapid evolutionary change. 

Darlington is of opinion that " parallel inbreeding and out- 
breeding would give the best racial results." 2i Now, it is this 
dual form of breeding which rules in anthropoid communities, 
and which I have assumed to have held also in primal communities 
of mankind. In a chimpanzee group, for example, the habitual 
practice is that of inbreeding or endogamy ; but this seems to be 
supplemented by a form of exogamy carried out by the wander- 
ing or outcast male. 25 If, then, chimpanzees and gorillas are 
subject to the most effective form of evolutionary breeding, why 
is it that they have* remained anthropoidal apes, confined to the 
tropical jungles of Africa, while man's simian ancestry has 
speeded on to a human estate and multiplied so in numbers that 
the species now covers the whole earth? In my next essay I shall 
seek for an answer to this problem. 

References for this essay appear on page 160. 

Post - Pleistocene Period 
18,000 Years 

Pleistocene Period. 
1,000,000 Years 








Pliocene Period 
7,000,000 Years 

Miocene Period 
12,000,000 Years 


of Okfr 


Australasian. Itidoasian Caucasian 

galley HOi Man 
Neanderthal Mail 
Rhodeslan Man 
Mt. Carmel Man 
Kanam Man 
PUtdo\m Man 

Indo -Asian stem 

Pre -Human 

Cj round Livirid 

(jortlla - Chimpanzee 

Dryopitheccjue Stem 


Tree Livmg 

Great - Bodied 


I Small -Bodied 
I Attthr opoids 



1 Keith, Sir A., Nationality and Race from an Anthropologist's Point of View, 
Oxford, 1919. What I then named " race consciousness " I now call " group 

2 The authorities on whom I have relied for data concerning the sexual 
and social habits of anthropoid apes are : — Yerkes, Robert and Ada, The Great 
Apes, 1929 ; Hooton, E. A., Upfront the Ape, 193 1, p. 273 ; Mans Poor Relatic **, 
1942; Carpenter, C. R., Trans. N. Y. Acad. Sc, 1942, Ser. 2, vol. 4, p. 248; 
Bingham, H. L., Gorillas in a Native Habitat, 1932; Coohdge, H. K., "The 
Living Asiatic Ages" : Harvard Alumni Bull, May 27, 1938; Forbes, H. O., 
Lloyd's Natural History, vols. 1, 2, 1896; Dyce-Sharp, N. A., Proc. Zool. Soc, 
Lond., 1927, pt. 4, p. 1 ; Zuckerman, S., The Social Life of Monkeys and Apes. 

3 Carpenter, C. R., Trans. N. Y. Acad. Sc, 1942, Ser. 2, vol. 4, p. 248. 
* See preceding reference. 

5 Yerkes, R. and A., The Great Apes, 1929, p. i%6, 

6 Schultz, A. H., Quart. Rev. Biol., 1936, vol. 11/268. 

T Westermarck, Ed., The History of Human Marriage, 2 vols., 1921 (5th ed.), 
1st ed., 1891. See vol. 2, chs. XVIII, XIX. See also Three Essays on Sex 
and Development, 1934. 

8 Frazer, Sir James G., Totemism and Exogamy, 4 vols., 1910. 

9 Lang and Atkinson, Social Origins: The Primal Law, 1903. 

10 Frazer, vol. 1, p. 103. 

11 Frazer, vol. 1, p. 308. 

12 Frazer, vol. I, p. 304, 

13 Westermarck, see references under 7, especially the first of the essays 
named and chap. XIX, vol. 2 of his greater work. 

14 Frazer, vol. 4, p. 104. 

15 Sehgman, Brenda, Jour. Roy. Anthrop. Instit., 1929, vol. 59, 368. 

16 Tylor, Sir E. B.,Jour. Roy. Anthrop. Instit., 1888, vol. 18, 267. 

17 See under reference 9. 

18 Frazer, vol. 1, p. 287. 

19 Darwin, C, Origin of Species, 6th edit., 1885, p. 75. 

20 Hammond, J., Cairn Terrier Assoc. Year Book, 1930. 

21 Darwin, C, The Descent of Man, Murray, 1913, p. 292. 

22 Ibid., p. 280. 

23 See reference 20. 

24 Darlington, CD.," Race, Class and Mating in the Evolution of Man," 
Nature, 1943, vol. 152, 315. 

25 Darwin recognized that the " wandering male prevents too close inter- 
breeding "; see under reference 21, p. 901. 



Synopsis. — This essay seeks to explain why the evolutionary fate of 
man differs so greatly from that of his co-descendant, the chimpanzee. 
A clue to this problem is provided by a study of the evolution of the 
erect or orthograde posture. How the author became drawn into the 
study of posture. A brief account of the hypothesis he formulated in the 
last decade of the nineteenth century. The modifications of the ortho- 
grade posture in the gibbon, orang, chimpanzee, gorilla, and man. 
Geological epochs and their estimated duration. So far the earliest 
evidence for the existence of the orthograde posture comes from the 
Lower Oligocene. The author's original hypothesis has had to be 
altered in several respects, but he still holds that the human stock did not 
separate from that of the great anthropoids until late in the Oligocene 
period. It was then that postural modifications appeared which gave 
man and the great anthropoids their respective modes of progression. 
These modifications confirmed the arboreal adaptations of the great 
anthropoids, while they set man free from them, thus permitting him to 
become a ground form. The parable of the postural genes. Evidence 
that the gorilla and chimpanzee have become less human and more 
simian in their structural characterization. 

Why, then, has evolutionary fate treated ape and man so differ- 
ently? The one has been left in the obscurity of its native 
jungle, while the other has been given a glorious exodus leading 
to dominion of earth, sea, and sky. Of the four surviving forms 
of anthropoid apes, the gibbon, divided into many species, in- 
habits those forest lands which He between Assam and Java; the 
orang is confined to certain jungle tracts oF Borneo and Sumatra; 
while the chimpanzee and gorilla, which arc nearly akin in a 
structural sense, have their home in the tropical belt of Africa. 
Students of evolution are of opinion that, at no remote period, as 
geologists reckon time, anthropoids and man were represented 
by a single ancestral stock, and that the forms set out upon their 



evolutionary journey from the' same starting point, all equipped 
with germinal potentialities drawn from the same common stock. 
We have seen that anthropoid groups are just as well organized 
for evolutionary progress as are primitive groups of humanity. 
How, then, has it come about that the human population of the 
world now numbers about 2,000 millions, while the anthropoids, 
if assembled together from the jungles of the East and of the 
West, would be found to number under, rather than over, one 
million? What has made man an evolutionary success and his 
cousins, the anthropoids, numerical failures ? If we knew how 
man came by his great brain, and why the anthropoid brain falls 
short of the human measure, we should be in a better position to 
return an answer. We are far from being in a position to 
explain the rise of the human brain or the comparative failure of 
the anthropoid brain, but there is another character which may 
provide the clue we are in search of— namely, that of posture. 
If we could give an acceptable account of how the anthropoids 
came by their varying modes of progression and posture, and how 
man came by his, then we should be able to throw light on why 
they have remained in the jungle, while he had succeeded in 
escaping into the open. I am the more willing to follow up this 
clue because of two circumstances : first, because the evolution 
of posture in the higher Primates is a subject to which I have 
devoted much attention, and, secondly, because in tracing the 
evolution of man's posture, I shall have opportunities of sketching 
in outline phases in the historical evolution, of man and ape. 

This is how I became involved in the study of posture. The 
spring of 1889 (I being then in my twenty-fourth year) found me 
medical officer to a mining company which had established its 
camp right in the heart of a Siamese jungle. 1 In the neighbour- 
hood lived several communities of gibbons and groups of various 
kinds of catarrhine monkeys, of which I shall mention only one 
sort, a semnopitheque, or langur, cousin to the Hanuman, or 
sacred monkey of India. My attention was soon drawn to the 
fact that the gibbon held his body, and moved his limbs in 
climbing, quite differently from the method adopted by the 
langur and other catarrhine monkeys. While in movement in the 
trees, the gibbon assumed an upright or orthograde posture; 
when running along s branch, the animal grasped it with its feet, 
used its hands and arms for support from overhanging branches, 



and thus carried its body at right angles to its plane of progression. 
It used its arms in the manner of a gymnast on a trapeze. When 
making its daring leaps from branch to branch, or from tree to 
tree, the arms were used as the instruments of propulsion. In 
contrast to this, catarrhine monkeys, such as the langur, move in 
quite a different way. Running along a branch on " all fours," 
they hold their bodies parallel to the planes of progression ; their 
posture is pronograde. When making their leaps, they plunge 
heavily from tree to tree or from branch to branch ; the instru- 
ments of propulsion are the hind limbs, combined with a sudden 
extension of the lumbar part of their spines. 

When I began a systematic course of dissection, the anatomy of 
the gibbon came to me as a revelation ; the muscles of its back 
were disposed, not as in pronograde monkeys, but as in the 
human body; *they were modified to maintain the upright or 
orthograde posture? So, too, with its body; the thorax and 
thoracic organs, the abdomen and the abdominal organs, all were 
closely similar to the condition I was familiar with in the human 
body. Then, as now, the gibbon was regarded as the most primi- 
tive and, in a geological sense, the oldest of all the anthropoidal 
forms. I therefore supposed that Lamarck, and also Darwin, 2 
had been in error when they imagined that the upright posture 
had come by an ape getting up on its hind limbs ; the case of 
the gibbon seemed to indicate that the erect or orthograde posture 
came in a downright way — namely, by some form of monkey 
using its arms as the chief means of support and of progression. 

Some years later, when I had made many more dissections and 
taken a census of the structural characters of anthropoids, both 
great and small, as well as those of the human body, I framed an 
hypothesis 3 to account not only for the modes of progression to 
be observed in these orthograde forms, but also to explain how 
each of these — man, gorilla, chimpanzee, orang, and gibbon — 
had come by the assemblage of structural characters to be found 
in their bodies. In my theory I assumed that the erect or ortho- 
grade posture had c*ome into the primate world with the evolution 
of the gibbon (Hylobates). I assumed, and I had geological 
evidence to support me, that from the hylobatian or gibbonish 
stock there had emerged, at an early period, a stock of anthropoids 
which differed from all which had gone before by their great size 
of body ; this group I named provisionally the " giant Primates." 


Living representatives or descendants of this giant group are man,' 
the chimpanzee, the gorilla, and the orang; many members of 
this stock have become extinct. The chimpanzee, which at one 
time bore the generic name of Troglodytes, seemed to me the 
truest living representative of the stage of evolution passed 
through by the giant Primates, so I named this stage of evolution 
" troglodytian." Thus it will be seen that my theory postulated 
three stages in the evolution of the orthograde posture in man and 
the great anthropoids ; first, they passed through a gibbonish or 
hylobatian phase, then a troglodytian stage, from which man, the 
gorilla, the chimpanzee, and orang emerged with the particular 
posture which is now characteristic of each of them. The 
orang, like the gibbon, has his arms greatly modified to serve as the 
chief means of support and progression; man, on the other hand/ 
has had his feet, his legs, thighs, and pelvis profoundly modified t 
to serve for this purpose ; the chimpanzee uses upper and lower ' 
limbs to an equal degree; while the gorilla employs his lower , 
extremities more than his upper in arboreal locomotion. While 
the anthropoids retain the foot as a grasping organ, man has lost f 
this common heirloom of the Primates ; but that at one time his 
foot did pass through a grasping stage there is ample evidence . 

The theory of posture just outlined was formulated in the j 
closing years of the ninteenth century ; with the twentieth century 
came new facts and new considerations necessitating amendments 
to my working hypothesis. It is with these' amendments I now 
want to deal, but as they involve us in excursions into the geo- 
logical past we must have a geologist's scale of time for our 
guidance. The geological ages which concern us, with estimates 
of their depth of strata and of their duration in years, given in the 
following table, are based on data provided by Professor Arthur 
Holmes and other geologists and compiled by my friend Rear- 
Admiral Beadnell.* 

Geological Epoch DepAofStrata Duratim in yems 

Pleistocene 6 4,000 - 1,000,000 

Pliocene 13,000 7,000,000 

Miocene 14,000 12,000,000 

Oligocenc 12,000 15,000,000 

Eocene 20,000 25,000,000 

63,000 60,000,000 


The background of time, in which we are to work, is provided 
by the last or Tertiary era of the earth's history ; the total duration 
of this era is estimated at sixty million years and is divided, as the 
above table indicates, into five epochs or periods. In the Eocene 
no fossil trace of the catarrhine stock has been found — the stock 
which gave birth to the lines which led on to man, anthropoids, 
and the monkeys of the Old World. We have to traverse the 
opening half of the Tertiary era — a period estimated at thirty 
million years — and so reach the Lower Oligocene, before we 
find a trace of the beginnings of the catarrhine stock. So far 
we have had only one glimpse of it — in the Lower Oligocene 
deposits of the Egyptian Fayum. By 191 1 jaws and teeth, 
representing four Primates of small size, had been unearthed from 
these deposits. 6 - One of these early Primates, Propliopithecus, in 
characters of teeth and mandible had clear claims to be regarded 
as ancestral to the gibbon. Although no bones of its body were 
recovered, there are good grounds for assuming that when they 
do come to light they will prove that tins Primate had evolved, 
or was evolving, into an orthograde posture. On this somewhat 
slender basis we assume that the evolution of the orthograde 
posture was coming into existence some thirty million years ago. 
Another of the Fayum fossil forms, Apidium, has dental char- 
acters which foreshadow those of the pronograde monkeys of the 
Old World ; we assume that it retained the pronograde posture of 
its Tarsioid ancestor. Two other Fayum forms, Parapithecus and 
Moeripithecus, have intermediate dental characters and may have 
been intermediate in their posture. Such, then, is the evidence 
which permits us to infer that the Lower Oligocene saw the 
differentiation of the catarrhine stock into orthograde and 
pronograde forms. 

We have to ascend from the Lower Oligocene to a point well 
within the Miocene, involving an elapse of some twelve or fifteen 
million years, to reach our next zone of evidence. Here we find 
the gibbon fully evolved in the fossil form of Pliopithecus ; great 
anthropoids abound, chiefly of the Dryopitheque family. So far, 
India has proved the richest source of Miocene anthropoids, 7 but 
Europe and East Africa have provided several representatives of 
the family. 8 Trfe evidence, scanty as it is, suggests that giant 
orthograde apes were in process of evolution in the Upper 
Oligocene, reaching the zenith of their development in die Upper 


Miocene and Lower Pliocene. Unfortunately we have to base 
our knowledge of these great Miocene anthropoids on a study of 
their teeth and of their jaws; only in a few instances are fragments 
of fossil limb-bones available to give us guidance as to posture. 
It has to be confessed that fossil teeth and jaws may mislead us, for 
teeth which are human in conformation have been found in the 
fossil anthropoids of South Africa; 9 while teeth of an anthropoid 
conformation have been found in an early form of man. 10 It is 
possible that teeth and jaws we are ascribing to Miocene anthro- 
poids may turn out to belong to ancestral forms of man. 

The early Pleistocene form of man which Dubois discovered in 
Java (1892-93), and to which he gave the misnomer of Pithe- 
canthropus, still provides the earliest definite evidence that by the 
end of the Pliocene period man had attained his full plantigrade 
mode of progression. From the beginning of the Miocene to the 
end of the Pliocene epoch, according to our* time scale (p. 164), 
involves the passage of some nineteen million years. It was during 
this long period, so my theory assumed, that the great anthropoid 
stock became differentiated into the lines which led to the forms 
now represented by man, the gorilla, chimpanzee, and orang. 
There is, however, one recent piece of evidence bearing on the 
evolution of the plantigrade posture which demands consideration. 
In 1925 Professor Dart u announced the discovery of fossil 
remains of a great anthropoid in South Africa; since then 
Dr. Broom has found fossil bones of two other kinds of the same 
type. All are attributable to the Pleistocene, although one may be 
of late Pliocene date. The South African anthropoids had larger 
brains than the gorilla or chimpanzee; their teeth were more 
human than anthropoid in character ; fragments of limb bones 
have been found, and from them it has been inferred that in their 
posture and in manner of progression these anthropoids were more 
or less plantigrade. If this latter inference proves to be valid, 12 
then we have in these South African andiropoids creatures which 
were intermediate to man and ape in characters of brain and of 
teeth, as well as in posture. The South African discoveries throw 
no light on the date at which man's plantigrade posture was 
evolved, but they do suggest that man came by his posture while 
his body was still anthropoidal in its characterization. 

Such, then, was the theory I formulated to account for the 
structural composition of man and ape. Let me now turn to the 


" facts " and " considerations " which have led me to alter my 
original theory. First, there was the recognition that the 
hylobatian progression of the gibbon was not primary but an 
extreme specialization evolved out of an earlier and simpler form, 
in which both upper and lower limbs were used equally in 
maintaining the orthograde posture. My theory now assumes 
that the early orthograde Primates of the Oligocene will prove to 
have been dualists in the use of their limbs — making an equal use 
of both upper and .lower limbs. Secondly, I had to account for 
the human hand. Man must have separated from the anthropoid 
stock before their hands had been transformed into grasping- 
hooks with greatly reduced thumbs. We may safely assume that 
in the early Oligocene Primates the hands were not modified into 
grasping-hooks, but had well-developed thumbs and a propor- 
tionate development of fingers. It is therefore tempting to suppose 
that the human stocic parted from the primitive orthograde forms 
of the Oligocene period while that stock had small bodies and 
hands which still retained their grasping qualities, and that as 
man's lower limbs became more and more his organs of support, 
his hands were free to preserve all their more primitive characters. 
But if we make man's stock break away thus early — some thirty 
million years ago — we are brought face to face with a difficulty. 
It is not only size of body that links man to the great anthropoids ; 
he has a large number of other important characters in common 
with them, such as a prolonged period of pregnancy, of nursing, 
and of infancy. His brain, although larger and more powerful, 
is still framed on anthropoid lines ; and he shares with them many 
special structural features. If we assume that the stock which 
ultimately gave rise to the human form broke away from the 
primitive orthograde stock in Lower Oligocene times, then we 
must suppose that man and anthropoids have come independently 
by the set of structural and functional qualities just enumerated. 
It seems to me far more probable that man and the great anthro- 
poids remained united in the same stock uritil late Oligocene 
times, when a stage was reached characterized by a relatively 
great size and strength of body. It was as this stage was being 
approached that I now believe postural differentiation to have been 
effected. We may safely assume that the early orthograde stock 
of large-bodied Primates was divided into numerous com- 
petitive groups, all of them adapted to an orthograde arboreal 


mode of life. In the group ancestral to' the chimpanzee and 
gorilla, upper and lower limbs served equally in the maintenance 
of posture ; in the group or groups ancestral to the orang, the 
upper limb became the more important means of support, while 
in the groups ancestral to man, the lower limbs underwent 
modifications to serve as the chief, or perhaps the sole, means of 
support and progression. While anthropoids became more and 
more adapted for an arboreal existence, our pre-human anthropoid 
ancestry underwent modifications which fitted it more and more 
for a life outside the jungle. 

The stock of large-bodied orthograde Primates we assume to 
have come into existence in late Oligocene times, and their place 
of evolution was more likely to have been in the tropical forests of 
Africa than in those of Asia or of Europe. If a zoologist had been 
there to examine them, he would have classified them among 
the large anthropoid apes. He would have noted, too, that in the 
isolated communities into which this Oligocene stock had become 
divided there were incipient changes in posture. He would have 
drawn the inference that the genes which regulate the develop- 
ment of postural structures were in a plastic state. 

With this stock of Oligocene anthropoids in our mind's eye 
we are in a position to answer the question posed at the beginning 
of tins essay : Why has evolutionary destiny dealt so differently 
with man and the chimpanzee, co-descendants of the same 
ancestral stock of large-bodied Oligocene Primates? The 
parable of the talents 13 points the way to an answer. In this 
ancient case talents were represented by the germinal potentialities 
which are handed on from generation to generation by means of 
genes. When a stock becomes separated into isolated, inbreed- 
ing groups, there is never an equal distribution of genes. To one 
group fall potentialities which are denied to other groups. To 
the pre-human groups fell that set of genes which were biased 
towards making the body and brain dependent on the lower limbs 
for support and progression, and to deprive the hands and arms 
of their locomotory function and make them the domestic 
servants of body and brain. The pre-chimpanzee groups were 
less fortunate in the " draw " for genes. To them fell postural 
genes of a more conservative nature, genes which worked on 
developing arm and leg, on hand and foot, so as to make them 
better adapted to an arboreal life. Thus the postural adaptations 


which fell to the chimpanzee confine its species to a life in the 
jungle, while those which fell to man fitted him to become a 
denizen of the whole earth. 

Man has changed greatly since Oligocene times, but it must not 
be supposed that the chimpanzee has stood stock-still; it, too, 
has made evolutionary progress. The Miocene deposits of Kenya 
have yielded the fossil remains of a large anthropoid which may 
very well be, as Hopwood 8 has supposed, ancestral to both the 
gorilla and chimpanzee. One can conceive the teeth and mandible 
of this fossil anthropoid being moulded into the forms now found 
in living chimpanzees and gorillas. Especially noteworthy in 
the mandible of the Kenya anthropoid are certain features which 
are also met with in the mandible of early forms of man. These 
humanoid features have disappeared from the mandibles of the 
gorilla and chimpanzee ; their mandibles have become more and 
more simian in their characterization. While the chimpanzee has 
retained a moderate size of body (65 kilos, 145 lb.), the gorilla, 
particularly the male, has increased in size and strength, the male 
often attaining a weight four times that of a man or of a chim- 
panzee. His characters indicate a vigorous action on the part of 
the pituitary gland. Especially noteworthy, as compared with 
the chimpanzee, is an increased adaptation of the lower limb for 
the purposes of support and progression. 


1 For a more detailed account of my early inquiries into the orthograde 
posture, see Amer.Jour. Phy. Anthrop., 1940, vol. 26, 251. 

2 Keith, Sir A., " Six Lectures on Man's Posture ; Its Evolution and 
Disorder," Brit. Med. Jour., 1923, from March 17 to April 21. Lecture 1 
gives an account of the opinions formulated by Lamarck and by Darwin. 

3 See Nature, 191 1, vol. 85, p. 509; Revista di Antropologia, 1916, vol. 20, 
p. 3. (Lo Schema Dell' Origine Umana.) 

4 Beadnell, Rear-Admiral C. M., A Picture Book of Evolution, 1934, p. 63. 
Rear-Admiral Beadnell died in 1947 at the age of 76. He was president 
of the Rationalist Press Association. 

6 I here give the loager estimate of the Pleistocene favoured by geologists, 
although I think the evidence as it now stands supports Zeuner's shorter 
estimate of a little over half a miUion. The estimate given of the Pleistocene 
includes also the post-glacial (post-Pleistocene) period, which had a duration of 
about 12,000 years. * 

6 Schlosser, Max, " Ueber einige fossile Saugetiere aus dem Oligocene von 
Egypten Fayum," Zool. Anz., 1910, vol. 35, p. 500; Gregory, W. K., The 
Origin and Evolution oftlie Human Dentition, 1922, p. 286. 


7 Pilgrim, G. E., Records Geo/. Survey, India, 1915, vol. 45, p. 1; Black, 
Davidson, " Asia and the Dispersal of the Primates," Bull. Gepl. Soc. China, 
1925, vol 4, p. 133. 

8 Hopwood, A. T., "Miocene Primates from Kenya," Jour. Linnean Soc. 
(Zoology), 1933, vol. 38, p. 437; Machines, D. G., Jour. East African and 
Uganda Nat. Hist. Soc, 1943, vol. 17, p. 141. 

9 For an account of the earlier work on South African anthropoid see my 
New Discoveries relating to the Antiquity of Man, 1931. 

10 Keith, Sir A., The Antiquity of Man, 1925, vol. 2, p. 687. 

11 Dart, Raymond, Nature, 1925, Feb. 7, p. 193. 

12 Broom, Robert, and Schepers, G. W. H., The South African Fossil Ape- 
Men; The Australopithecince, Transvaal Museum Memoir, No. 2, 1946. The 
discovery in 1947 of the pelvis of one of the fossil anthropoids confirmed 
the view that their posture was human. (See Broom and Robinson, Nature, 
1947, vol. 160, p. 153.) 

13 St. Matthew, XXV, 14. 

essay xvra 


Synopsis. — The individuals of a primitive evolving community are 
specialized in body and mind for three forms of activity : (i) for the 
production of new lives; (2) for the care and nourishment of the 
young; (3) for the protection of mothers and children. Groups are 
selected according to the efficiency of these three forms of activity. 
Doubt as to the innate nature of man s paternal feelings. Sex differ- 
ences in anthropoids compared with those in man. Differences in 
cranial markings, in canine teeth, in stature, and weight of body. 
Stress is laid on the sexual difference in size of brain. The correlation 
in the development of body and brain as illustrated by the increase and 
reduction in size of the canine teeth. A quotient expressive of the 
degree of sex differentiation. The overlap of sexes in point of differentia- 
tion. The degree of differentiation determined by group selection. 
The action of sex hormones on body and brain. The effects of castration. 
The action- of the male hormone on the female body. The mental 
qualities attributed to women and to men. The action of such qualities 
in primitive societies. The significance to be attached to the pre- 
ponderance of the male size of brain. Women retain longer thejoyous- 
ness of youth. The relationship between the various forms or kinds of 
human affection. 

In this essay we are concerned with three essential activities 
carried on by members of every evolving community, whether 
that enclosed community is made up of anthropoid apes or of 
primitive human beings. The first of these activities is destined 
to secure a due mixture of the seeds or genes which circulate 
within the group. This end is attained by the separation of the 
individuals composing a community into sexes; in the male, 
during embryonic development, the parts immediately concerned 
with reproduction are modified in one direction; in the female 



the same parts are modified in another direction. "With the 
differ en tiation of the sex organs there is also a correlated change in 
mental organization; the brain of the male is so constituted that 
when puberty is reached an urge towards the opposite sex 
becomes imperious ; equally compelling are the calls which sex 
makes on the mentality of the female. If sex passion fails within 
a community or tribe, then that tribe comes to an end. 

The activity just named secures the creation of new lives within 
a community. The second activity with which we have to do 
is that which assures the conception, bearing, nourishing, and 
nursing of these new lives. Here, too, the brain as well as the 
body of the female, be she ape or be she human, are modified, 
the breasts to give milk and the brain to give succour. The 
passions of the mother are so biased that she will sacrifice her own 
life to save that of her child. " Natural affections," declared 
Reid, 1 " spring up in the mother's heart ... as the milk springs 
up in her breasts." Whether the rnind of the male has a corre- 
sponding inborn bias is still a moot point. There is credible 
evidence that among the most primitive of surviving anthropoids, 
the gibbons, the male shares the care of the young with his mate, 
but the evidence that affirms the same of the male chimpanzee is 
much less reliable. For a male chimpanzee to recognize his 
progeny from that of others he must be monogamous, and of this 
the chimpanzee seems to be incapable. His habits are definitely 
polygamous, and, so far as our evidence goes, the same was true of 
early man. Yet I think there can be no doubt that modern 
fathers are innately biased in favour of their own children. There 
is a letter which Darwin wrote when his first child was born that 
reveals such bias. 2 A passage from this letter runs as follows : 
" I had not the smallest conception there was so much in a five- 
month baby. He is so charming that I cannot pretend to any 
modesty. You will perceive from this that I have a fine degree of 
paternal fervour." 

The point just discussed — whether or not man comes of a stock 
in which the males were endowed with paternal feelings — bears 
on the third of the communal activities we are now considering. 
This third activity concerns the defence of a community, par- 
ticularly of its mothers and children, which constitute the core of 
every live community. To carry out this activity both bodies 
and brains of males have been modified ; their bodies have come 


by bone, brawn, strength, and mass ; their mentality is biased so 
that when the need arises, they will sacrifice their lives to save 
those of mothers and children. They have to varying degrees a 
fighting spirit born in them; to sustain this spirit they have come 
by an increase of courage and of a blind and passionate resolution 
to do or die. Thus I presume that the greater physical strength 
and fighting prowess of the male have come into being, and been 
selected, not as Darwin thought, to give one male victory over 
another in the contest for a female, but arose primarily for group 
defence. But I also admit that " the law of battle " has tended to 
strengthen the special characters of the male. 

The success of any tribe or group, whether composed of 
anthropoids or of human beings, will depend on how efficiently 
and spontaneously these three services are carried out by its 
members. Sexual passions must be strong and healthy ; maternal 
affections must abound; security must be guaranteed by the 
prowess of the protectors. The group which is rich in all these 
qualities will outlast a group less well endowed; such qualities 
will be favoured and strengthened by " group selection." The 
extent to which the sexes are differentiated will depend on how 
far males and females have become adapted to carry out their 
communal duties. Over-differentiation or under-differentiation 
may be equally inimical to the life of a group. 

To what extent were the sexes differentiated in the simian stock 
which ultimately gave origin to man? A partial answer to 
this question may be obtained if we consider the extent to which 
sex differentiation has been carried in the surviving anthropoid 
apes, seeing that they are man's collaterals in descent. I have 
had a long experience in " sexing " the skulls of anthropoids and 
men, so I turn first to the cranial characters which distinguish the 
skulls of adult males from those of adult females. In all anthro- 
poid skulls the bony crests which give attachment to the muscles of 
mastication and of the neck are so strongly developed in males 
that I cannot remember ever coming across a case which left 
me in doubt. This is particularly true of the muscular cranial 
crests of the male gorilla and of the male orang. In the skulls 
of chimpanzees and gibbons sex differences are less, but always 
recognizable. It "is otherwise when one comes to deal with 
collections of human skulls ; in every hundred specimens there 
are always some fifteen or twenty which are so poorly marked 


that one is left in doubt about their sex. So far as concerns 
cranial characters, sex discrimination is least marked among modern 
races of mankind and most in gorillas and orangs. As to the 
degree of separation of sexes in the earliest forms of man so far 
discovered, little can be said because the specimens available are so 
few in number and often so fragmentary in nature. The same 
handicap prevents any definite statement being made as to the 
degree of sex separation in fossil forms of anthropoid apes. 

The cranial crests of anthropoid apes may be used as indications 
of fighting power, for their size is largely determined by the 
development of the anthropoids' chief weapons of offence — the 
canine teeth. These reach their largest size in the males of the 
gorilla and orang. In the male gorilla the lower canines rise to a 
height (in the average) of 9 mm. above the level of the teeth 
immediately behind them ; in the female to a height of 5 mm. ; 
the sexual difference is 4 mm. This sexual difference may also be 
regarded as a measure of the ferocity of the sexes. In the orangs 
the canine measurements are identical with those in gorillas, but 
in chimpanzees the measurements are decidedly less, the canine 
heights in males being 5 mm., in females 3 mm., the sexual 
difference being 2 mm. In gibbons, although the canine of the 
male is the stouter tooth, in height both are alike — namely, 9 mm. 
This is consonant with the known fact that the female gibbon is as 
ferocious as the male. In modern races of mankind, although 
the canine of the male is usually the stouter tooth, there is no 
difference as regards their degree of projection; in both sexes the 
canines share the level of their neighbours. Thus we reach the 
conclusion that, so far as concerns canine development, the sexual 
difference is least in man and greatest in the gorilla and orang. 

Now, it is assumed by many authorities that man has inherited 
his small canines from his early Oligocene ancestry, and that at 
no time did he share in the caninization which overtook the 
anthropoid apes. I, on the other hand, am not alone in holding 
the opinion that man, in the simian stages of his evolution, had 
canine teeth which, in point of development/were equal at least 
to that seen in chimpanzees. Man's canines are formed in the 
same anomalous position as the large canines of anthropoid 
apes ; 3 projecting canines have been observed in two fossil 
human types — at Piltdown and in Java. 4 

If we believe that in the earlier stages of his evolution man had 


large canines, then wc arc confronted by a problem which is both 
interesting and intricate. Why did man's canines become 
reduced? How was the reduction in their development brought 
about ? The first question is the more easy to approach. When 
man's hands became free and his brain had reached that degree of 
development which enabled him to become a weapon-user, he 
would have depended no longer on his canine teeth as his chief 
weapons of defence ; their reduction would then have become 
advantageous to him. The second question remains : How was 
this reduction brought about ? I do not believe that mere disuse 
brings about a developmental atrophy; nor do I believe that it 
can be accounted for by " natural selection " working by itself. 
We have to presume a factor, of which as yet we have no direct 
evidence — a factor which works during the development of the 
embryo and brings about changes in the organization of the brain 
in correspondence 1 with evolutionary changes in the body. 
With the decay in man's brain of the physical substratum which 
supports the instinct to use the teeth as" weapons of offence, I 
presume there also came about a reduction in the bodily structures 
so used. 

After this somewhat abstruse discussion I now turn to the 
simpler matter of sex differentiation in size and strength of body. 
In a primitive community, such as is to be found in Central 
Australia, 5 the mean stature of women is 126*2 mm. (5 ins.) 
less than that of the men. A woman's stature is 94 per cent of 
the man's ; the sexual difference is 6 per cent. As regards weight 
the difference is much greater, the average male weighing 
125-2 lb. (57 km.), the female, 95-7 lb. (44-8 km.); the female 
weighs 76-4 per cent of the male, the sexual difference being 
23-6 per cent. Anthropoid and human statures are not com- 
parable, but weights are; unfortunately our knowledge of 
anthropoid weights is still defective. Of the anthropoids, the 
chimpanzee stands nearest to man in size and strength of body. 
The adult male weighs from 60 to 65 km.; the female 45 to 
50 km.; the setfual difference being about 6 per cent. The 
sexual difference among gorillas is very much greater ; the adult 
female weighs about 72 km., while the male weighs twice, thrice, 
or even four times the weight of the female. 6 The sexual 
difference in size is thus of a high order. The sexual difference 
among orangs, although less than among gorillas, is very much 


higher than among chimpanzees. Although the female gibbon 
has a slightly longer body than the male, 7 the mean weight of the 
female is only 91 per cent of the mean weight of the male 
(5-9 km.). The sexual difference is thus 9 per cent. In the 
extent to which the male body is differentiated in size from that of 
the female, man finds a place between the chimpanzee and gorilla, 
his differentiation being much less than in the gorilla, but greater 
than in the chimpanzee. 

The most reliable, as well as the most interesting, index of the 
degree to which sexes are differentiated is to be found in weight 
of brain, or, in the absence of such information, the volume of 
the cranial cavity which contains the brain. Let us take a sample 
of modern Europeans first. 8 The mean weight of the male brain 
in this sample was 1410 gm. ; that of the female 1250 gm. The 
female brain is thus 88*6 per cent of the male amount; the index 
of differentiation is 11-4 per cent. In Negroes," although the brain 
is smaller, the index figure is practically the same as in Europeans. 
Turning to the aborigines of Australia as representatives of 
primitive man, we have to deal, not with weights of brains stated 
in grammes, but with the capacity of the brain chamber stated in 
cubic centimetres. 9 The mean cranial capacity of the male 
Australian 10 is 1287 c.c. (with a range from 1040 c.c. to 1630 c.c.) ; 
that of the female is 1145 c - c - (with a range of 1010 c.c. to 
1280 c.c). The volume of the brain of an aboriginal woman is 
89 per cent of that of the male ; the sexual difference (or index) 
is 11 per cent. The constancy of an index of 11 per cent for all 
three races is noteworthy. Taking the chimpanzee as a repre- 
sentative of the great anthropoids, we find that the mean cranial 
capacity 11 of the male is 420 c.c, that of the female 390 c.c, the 
female capacity being 93 per cent of the male. The index of sex 
differentiation is thus 7 per cent, compared to 1 1 per cent for the 
Australian aborigines. The cranial capacity of the male chim- 
panzee varies from 350 to 480 c.c, compared with a range of 
1040 to 1630 in male aborigines ; the range for female chimpanzees 
is from 320 c.c. to 450 c.c, compared to thac of 1010 c.c to 
1280 c.c. in the aboriginal women of Australia. In gibbons the 
sex quotient is 7-2 — nearly the same as in chimpanzees — whereas 
in gorillas it is 12, being somewhat greater than in human races, 
while the maximum of sexual differentiation is reached in orangs, 
with a quotient of 14. 


I have gone into the degree of sexual differentiation revealed 
by a comparison of cranial capacities for several reasons. We 
learn from them that man, the gorilla, and the orang represent a 
group of the great Primates in which there is a high degree of 
sexual differentiation, much more than in the chimpanzee and 
gibbon, which I infer to stand nearer to the early orthograde 
ancestry in this character. If we arrange the capacities given for 
male and female chimpanzees into a continuous series, it will be 
seen that many males fall short of the female capacities and that 
many females exceed those of the male. The same is true of a 
combined series of aboriginal capacities ; the sexes overlap. The 
same overlap is seen if we group the sexes together according to 
size and strength of body ; at one end of the series are those 
moulded towards the small ultra-feminine frame of body ; at 
the other end of the series those of a robust and ultra-masculine 
type; between these extremes is a myriad of intermediate types 
of men and women. One can readily perceive, in the competition 
of a primitive human group with other groups, that conditions 
might arise which favoured the group which was strong towards 
the masculine end of the scale, masculinity being thus selected. 
Or, opposite conditions might favour feminine qualities of body. 
In either case it is evident that the sexual balance of an evolving 
group is determined by the result of the competition of that 
group with other groups; the group with an optimum sexual 
balance is a winner. Under the conditions in which humanity 
was evolved in the primal world, the optimum degree of sexual 
differentiation is represented by the amount by which the mean 
cranial capacity of women falls short of the mean capacity of 
men — namely, by 1 1 per cent. Whether this will continue to be 
the optimum amount under modern conditions is a matter which 
will be discussed in a later essay. 

Sex differentiation is fundamental ; a boy became a boy at the 
moment when the egg from which he sprang was fertilized, and 
so with every girl. If, however, we pass on to the period of 
puberty, we find Certain special factors at work. I shall touch 
very briefly on the part taken by these factors in determining sex 
characters. If the testes are removed from a boy, the growth of 
both body and inind become altered. His voice does not break; 
if he belongs to a hairy race, he remains beardless ; hair does not 
grow on the usual sexual sites ; his skin changes in texture ; his 


muscular development is lessened ; his bones become changed in 
shape and length. He becomes indifferent to the presence of 
women. He is devoid of sexual jealousy ; he has no spirit to 
compete, to struggle, or fight. Why should the removal of the 
testes bring about, not only a suppression of sexual characteriza- 
tion of the body, but also lead to the appearance in it of new 
features? It has to be remembered that the chemical substances 
or hormones thrown into the circulation by the testes do not 
act directly on larynx, skin, hair, and muscle, but produce their 
effects by acting on the pituitary gland, which is the chief source of 
the hormones which regulate the growth of sexual and other 
characters of the body. With the removal of the testes, the 
pituitary, escaping from the control of the testicular male hor- 
mone, changes in its structure and in its action. Thus the non- 
development of the secondary sexual characters of the body is due 
to a pituitary failure. One may suspect, too, that the mental 
changes are also due to a pituitary defect, for the pituitary gland 
is near to, and closely connected with, the nerve centres of sex. 
Presently, when we come to deal with the differentiation of 
mankind into races, the evolutionary importance of the hormonal 
system will become increasingly apparent. 

There is a lack of precise information of what happens to women 
when their ovaries are removed in girlhood ; the effects produced 
are much less apparent thin those which occur in castrated boys. 
We do know, however, what happens to young women when, 
as a result of disease, their systems are brought under the influence 
of the male hormone. Broster ^ has studied many of these cases 
of " virilism " in young women. Their bodies assume the out- 
ward marks of the male ; men no longer attract them ; maternal 
affections vanish ; they lose all interest in feminine pursuits and 
duties. Healthy ovarian action is essential for the full mani- 
festation of femininity. 

The most complete analysis of the sexual differentiation of men 
and women known to me is that made by Havelock Ellis. 13 
Let us apply his list of female traits, not to women in general, but 
to members of a primitive society, so that we may realize the 
social significance of such traits in early times. When he says that 
women are more conservatively minded, I take this to mean that 
they are upholders of tribal traditions, seeking to hand them on to 
their children just as they received from their own mothers. 


Women are said to have an intuitional aptitude in discerning 
character; such a faculty makes them apt in deciphering the 
thoughts and motives of their social fellows. They are said to be 
more susceptible to praise and to blame than men; it would be 
equally true to say they are more ready to praise and to blame; 
more given to criticize social behaviour. In this way they 
establish and uphold tribal opinion. They are said to excel in 
acting, which I take to imply that they can behave so as to hide 
their true thoughts and motives — a trait which would be par- 
ticularly useful in a society of masterful males. Women's nature 
is said to be more susceptible of suggestion, more docile, easier of 
domestication, more responsive to instinct, and of greater 
emotionality. All these qualities fit women to be the staid 
element of society. " Women," said Darwin, " are more tender 
and less selfish " ; they have the warmer hearts. 

It would take me too far afield to tabulate the prevalent traits 
attributed to men by Darwin and by Ellis. Suffice it to say that 
they are the characters of mind and body needful for those who 
are responsible for the protection and welfare of their tribe. 
They are the qualities which make them successful lovers. In the 
anthropoid world the male establishes his dominance by the free 
use of physical force, and this policy, one may suspect, also held in 
the early world of mankind. One minor trait of the sexual 
morality of men may be noted here. While they impose a single 
code of morality on their women, that of chastity, they regard 
breaches of this code by themselves with a lenient eye. In this 
respect men are dual codists, while they are single codists as 
regards their mates. 

Readers may have detected two omissions in my discussion of 
sex characterization. I have given no explanation of the pre- 
ponderating weight of the male brain. Much of this is due to 
the greater mass of the male body; the bigger the frame the 
larger is the administrative outfit in the central nervous system. 14 
I do not think that this factor accounts for the whole of the 
difference. I susp*ect that a certain part of the male preponderance 
is due to the specialization of his brain for functions which fall to 
the lot of the protective male. The other omission refers to 
changes in mentality which comes with age. Women tend to 
retain the joyousness of youth to a greater degree than do men. 
The male anthropoid, when he reaches adult years, turns 


sedate, taciturn, and sulky, while the female behaves more as 
the young do. A corresponding change is often to be noted 
in men. 

Here seems the proper place to devote a paragraph to the 
discussion of one of the many abstruse problems which dog the 
footsteps of the student of human evolution. What is the relation- 
ship between the mental bonds which link a mother to her child, 
a lover to his lass, and those which bind together the children of 
the same family or the members of the same community into a 
social whole? Have each of these bonds been evolved separately, 
or is one of them the parent of the others ? Westermarck 15 
accepted Freud's explanation — namely, that the passionate self- 
surrender of lovers represents the basis from which the two other 
forms of instinctive affection arose. Sutherland 16 and many 
other authorities regard the maternal affections as the evolutionary 
basis of all the others. There remains a third- mode of inter- 
pretation — namely, that the special affections of the mother and 
of the lover are but exaggerations of the social affections. I am 
inclined to accept the third explanation. When the sex 
glands are removed in childhood the social aptitude remains, 
but the mother's love and the lover's passion are no longer 
developed. This fact is in favour of the primacy of social 

Perhaps the greatest mental difference between man and ape 
is the exaltation of the faculties which wait upon man's quest of 
sex. " Love," said Hume, " is cloaked parenthood." 17 


1 Reid, Thos., Essays on the Active Powers of Men. 

2 Darwin, Sir Francis, The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, vol. I, p. 300. 

3 Keith, Sir A., The Antiquity of Man, 1925, p. 675. 

* Weidcnreich, Franz, Anthrop. Papers Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist., 1945, vol. 40, 
pt. 1. 

5 Campbell, T. D., and others, Oceania, 1936, vol. 7, p. ioi. 

6 Schultz, A. H., Quat. Rev. Biol, 1934, vol. 2, p. 259. 

7 Schultz, A. H., Amer. Jour. Phys. Anthrop., 1944, N.S., 2, p. 1. 

8 Pearl, R., Biometrika, 1905, vol. 4, pts. 1, 2. 

9 For relationship between brain-weight and cranial capacity see article 
by the author mjour. Anat., 1895, vol. 29, p. 282. °- 

10 Basedow, H., Zeitschr. Ethnol, 1910, p. 124. 

11 Hagcdoorn, A., Anat. Anz., 1926, vol. 60, p. 117. 

12 Broster, L. R., and others, The Adrenal Cortex and Intersexuality, 193 8. 


13 Ellis, Havclock, Man and Woman, 2nd cd , 1897 

14 Darwin, Charles The Descent of Man, Murray, 1913, p 857. 

15 Westermarck, E , Three Essays on Sex and Development, 1934 

16 Sutherland, Alex , The Origin and Growth of the Moral Instinct, 1898 

17 Hume, David, Essays atid Treatises on Several Subjects, 1772, vol 1, 
1. 237. 



Synopsis. — Darwin called in " sexual selection " to explain racial 
differences. His conception of the manner in which it acts. Sexual 
selection in a chimpanzee community. Love-making and mating in a 
primitive human society. Even in a civilized society mating is mainly 
local. Westermarck's dictum. Sexual selection favours the survival 
of the instinctively minded. How far " like will to like " is true. 
Lovers show a great diversity of taste in their choice of mates. Taste is 
environmental in its judgment. The problem of sexual jealousy and of 
marital jealousy. The triple process concerned in bringing about 
evolutionary change. The production of racial characters by hormone 
action. The discovery of hormones. Starlings forecast. Examples ■ 
of hormone action. The pituitary gland. It can bring about orderly as 
well as disorderly changes in the body. Much still awaits elucidation. 
Hormones and genes. Even in inbred societies there is a wide in- 
dividual variation, and hence opportunities of sexual choice. Sexual 
selection is a minor factor in human evolution. The first step in the 
differentiation of a new race. 

The Descent of Man was published on 24th February, 1871, soon 
after its author had entered on his sixty-third year. At the end 
of Part 1, in which he summarized his evidence in support of 
man's evolutionary origin, he had to confess that none of the 
means he had postulated explained the racial differences which 
separate Negro from Mongol, or Mongol rrom European or 
Caucasian. " We have now seen," he admitted, " that the 
external characteristic differences between the races of man cannot 
be accounted for in a satisfactory manner by the direct action of 
the conditions of life, nor by the effects of the continued use of 
parts, nor through the principle of correlation . . . but there 



remains one important agency, namely Sexual Selection, which 
appears to have acted powerfully on man, as on many animals . . . 
it can further be shown that the differences between the races 
of man, as in colour, hairiness, form of features, etc., are of a 
kind which might have been expected to come under the influence 
of sexual selection." *• Thereupon he proceeds to Part 2, which 
is an exposition of his theory of sexual selection. 

Darwin used the following simile 2 to illustrate his conception 
of how sexual selection brings about evolutionary change: 
" If during many years two careful breeders rear animals of the 
same family, and do not compare them together, or with a 
common standard, the animals are found to have become, to the 
surprise of the owners, slightly different." This, he explains, is 
due to each owner selecting, and thus modifying, the animals to 
answer to his own taste or standard. A similar effect will be 
produced, so he inferred, if the males of a community choose their 
mates, over a long series of generations, according to the standard 
of taste which prevails in their community. He notes that : — 

" the men of each race prefer what they arc accustomed to; 
they cannot endure any great change ; but they like variety, 
and admire each characteristic carried to a moderate extreme. 
Men accustomed to a nearly oval face, to straight and 
regular features, and to bright colours, admire, as we 
Europeans know, those points when strongly developed. 
On the other hand, men accustomed to a broad face, with 
high cheek-bones, a depressed nose, black skin, admire these 
peculiarities when strongly marked." 3 

If the Negro steadily sought for a mate with the blackest and 
glossiest of skins, with thick and pouting lips, with eyes of char- 
coal, and with the woolliest of hair ; if the Mongol sought his 
bride according to the degree her eyes were of the almond shape, 
her cheek-bones high, with root of nose duly submerged and hair 
black and straight ; if the European lover were constantly partial 
to the ferninine features portrayed by the sculptors of classical 
Greece, then sexual selection would be a powerful factor in bring- 
ing about the divergence of human races. How far modern 
evidence suppofts Darwin's theory will come up for discussion 
as we proceed. Meanwhile, the extracts just given will place 
the reader in touch with the main features of his theory. 



To begin our inquiry, let us note first the manner in which 
courting and mating are carried out in a chimpanzee community. 
Such a community, as we have already seen (p. 149), is a closed 
society; intruders are driven off. Young chimpanzees are thus 
limited in their choice of mates ; they have to be content with 
what is produced at home. There is, however, the exceptional 
case of the " rogue " animal; it may be that he has escaped from 
his home circle to search for a mate abroad ; more probably he 
has been defeated by a rival male, and so outlawed. Although no 
one has seen a contest between males for a mate in a jungle 
community, it is very likely that such contests do occur. The 
male chimpanzee is an aggressive and imperious lover when in 
captivity, forcing his embraces several times daily on reluctant 
females. 4 Only when he has received, or expects to receive, 
favour from a female does he show a preferential treatment 
towards her. 5 To this degree the male may be said to be a lover. 
Nevertheless, there is selection in the choice of mates, for pre- 
ference and aversions are persistently manifested by the younger 
female animals; such animals seek to make themselves sexually 
attractive by stamping and whirling movements which may be 
regarded as incipient forms of dance. 6 The female begins to 
menstruate in her ninth year ; before then her vulval parts become 
greatly swollen and tumid ; at the mid-menstrual phase, when the 
ovum is shed, this swelling reaches its maximal development ; 4 
it is then that the female obtrudes herself unashamedly on the 
male. Yet Yerkes 6 observed a pair seek seclusion before em- 
bracing. In chimpanzee communities love is a naked passion 
dominated by instinct. 

In primitive human societies a lover's choice was restricted to 
his home community, just as much as is the case with chimpanzees. 
Even in the myriad of living tribal people, where the practice of 
exogamy is carried out with rigour, a young man's choice of a 
bride is limited to the young women of his allotted group; often 
his bride has to be a cousin ; nevertheless he has a choice, even if it 
is restricted. If he selects the bride which seems most attractive 
to him, thus exercising his taste, his act of selecting will serve in 
moulding a local type, as Darwin postulated. 

Even in modern civilized societies choice of mates is limited by 
many circumstances — by locality, by class, by nation, by language, 
and by race. It would take me too far afield to tabulate the 


evidence which reveals the extent to which mating still remains 
local; a few instances will suffice. My first witness is the late 
Professor Karl Pearson. 7 " In the Yorkshire dales from which 
my ancestors came . . . nearly everyone was my fourth cousin 
or was more nearly related." To give such a result, mating in 
those dales must have been local over a series of generations. 
" Fancies of young people," said Galton, " are so incalculable and 
so irresistable . . . yet ninety-five per cent marry according to 
the custom of their nation . . . each pair within their own place 
and circle." 8 "In German villages," according to Boas, 9 
" fifty per cent of marriages have common ancestry." Gobineau 
said the same thing of the villages of France. Hocart 10 relates 
that of fifty-three marriages celebrated within a commune in 
Egypt, thirty-one were between inhabitants of the same village 
or commune, thirteen with neighbouring communes, only ten 
marrying outside the district. Local marriages tend to produce a 
distinctive local population, but this result must be ascribed to 
inbreeding rather than to sexual selection. 

The evidence I have touched on is altogether against Wester- 
marck's dictum that " proximity creates aversion," u and there- 
fore lovers seek their mates outside their native communities. 
Yet it has to be admitted that there is a degree of truth in Wester- 
marck's contention. Men who go abroad often marry women of 
foreign nations; they are stimulated by the strange and novel. 
Here we meet another example of the strange duality of human 
nature; a man who is most partriotically attached to his native 
land may yet, in certain circumstances, turn emigrant. A tribes- 
man's mentality changes as he passes from his own into a neigh- 
bouring territory. Men are sometimes tempted to do a thing 
just because it is forbidden. It is in this manner I seek to explain 
Westermarck's dictum. The " rogue " chimpanzee may have 
been impelled to seek a mate abroad because of " an aversion to 
the familiar " of his own group. 

Sexual selection became free when men entered civilized life 
and ceased to live'in circumscribed tribal communities. Only 
under modern conditions are men and women at liberty to mate 
in the manner postulated by Darwin; even under modern 
conditions, as we have just seen, their choice is limited by many 
circumstances. Although sexual selection has played only a minor 
part in the production of human types and races, there is a sense 


in which it is of the utmost evolutionary significance. If it is 
really true that love is " cloaked parenthood," as Hume supposed, 
and if those in whom love abounded mated in a larger proportion 
than those in whom it was less developed, then the highly sexed, 
the children-producers, would be favoured, and the founts of 
fertility would be always full to overflowing. 

Love may abound and yet lead to childless marriages; love 
may be prostituted. But in such cases there is elimination — 
elimination of the stock of those who have voluntarily dissolved 
the bonds which link love to parentage. In this way sexual 
selection secures the perpetuation, as well as the reproductive 
health, of a community. As regards sexual selection, it is the 
instinctively minded parents, rather than the rationally minded, 
who hand on their reproductive qualities freely to the next 

In this paragraph I am to tie together in a single bundle a 
number of minor matters connected with selection of mates. 
Does the rule "like will to, like" hold in a lover's choice? 
Darwin believed it was so among certain animals, 12 and Julian 
Huxley 13 has cited the case of a white (albino) community of 
Indians in Panama who, being denied partners by neighbouring 
coloured communities, were left to find mates among themselves. 
The latter is an instance, not of selection, but of rejection, and is 
paralleled in civilized communities by those cases where the 
maimed, the deformed, ard the grossly diseased are left un- 
courted and unwed. The tastes of lovers are infinite ; there is 
the utmost diversity of mind and body among women, yet there 
arc very few that fail to answer to some lover's ideal. " Love is 
blind," it is said ; if not blind, it is certainly strongly prejudiced ; 
bystanders never see lovers as lovers see each other. A lover's 
taste is based, not on any standard which has been born within 
him, but upon the faces and fashions on which his infant eyes 
opened and amid which he grew up. Taste is a local tradition ; 
a white child reared in a black community, or a black child 
brought up among whites, will model its taste on the faces and 
manners of those by whom it is surrounded. A lover's taste, 
then, usually works within the limits of a community, and so 
diverse are its ideals that it tends to produce within that com- 
munity, not a single type, but a great diversity of the local type. 
In brief, sexual selection is but an adjunct of the evolutionary 


machinery which works so as to give differentiation to the 
members of a local community. 

Why is love so often accompanied by jealousy? We have 
seen (p. 58) that competition is an essential part of the machinery 
of evolution ; jealousy is the spur or whip which urges com- 
petitors on towards their goal. It is the painful passion which 
seizes contestants when they fear their ambition is to be frustrated, 
urging them on to obtain by foul means what they cannot win by 
fair dealing. Jealousy is deaf to reason ; it gives the strongest of 
biases to thoughts and feelings. Under free conditions sexual 
selection is a contest between lovers for the same desirable bride. 
Being a competition for sole possession, it is naturally attended by 
jealousy on the part of contestants. It is not a passion peculiar 
to man ; all through the animal kingdom jealousy arises wherever 
there is a contest for attention, for affection, or for sole possession ; 
but the high organization of man's emotional nature renders his 
pangs ofjealousy far beyond those felt by other animals. Jealousy, 
then, is the spur which urges lovers on, so that the fittest may 
receive his reward. 

When the mating contest is over and the competition ended, 
why should husbands (and wives) become jealous? The contest 
is, in reality, not over ; former rivals still exist ; the husband may 
find his mate exchanging glances with other men, which, by 
rights, ought to have been his. Darwin, in the following 
passage, 14 states his belief that marital jealousy is inherent in 
man's nature : " The most probable view is that man lived 
aboriginally in small communities each with a single wife, or if 
powerful, with several whom he jealously guarded against all 
other men." Against Darwin's view we have evidence that the 
practice of " wife lending " was widely spread among primitive 
peoples ; the Eskimo and Todas 15 are said to be devoid of 
marital jealousy. It seems to me more probable that the ban 
against unchastity, like that against incest, is part of a domestic 
tradition, instituted to prevent disruption of families, and has no 
instinctive basis in numan nature. This is supported by the fact 
that the most highly civilized peoples (who are also the most com- 
petitive) are those in which marital jealousy most abounds. I agree 
with Hume that : 16 " Chastity would never have been thought 
of but for its utility in safeguarding the interests of the children." 

Darwin called in sexual selection to explain the origin of the 


diverse varieties or sub-species into which mankind has been 
demarcated. "We have seen (p. 129) that the evolutionary pro- 
cess is carried out by the simultaneous action of three factors. 
First, there is production — the production of new hereditable traits 
of body and of mind. Secondly, there is the competition between 
individuals and between communities. Those in which new 
characters have appeared may be stronger than those devoid of 
them. Thirdly, there is selection, the increase, spread, and survival 
of those best fitted to meet the needs of life, as well as the decrease 
and, ultimately, the elimination of those less well fitted. So far 
I have considered only two of the factors concerned in the evolu- 
tion of races by the action of sexual selection — namely, the 
competitive and selective factors. We have now to inquire into 
the productive factor, the means by which races have been given 
their distinctive features of face, body, skin, hair, and brain. 
This involves a brief exposition of the modern and still very 
defective doctrine of hormone action. 

Early in the twentieth century, some twenty years after Dar- 
win's death, the discovery of hormones and of their action threw a 
new light on the origin of racial characters. Such a discovery 
would not have taken Darwin by surprise, for when discussing 
the possible origin of such characters in The Descent of Man 17 
he wrote as follows : " We must not be too confident in deciding 
what modifications are of service. ... It is also well to reflect 
on such facts as the wonderful growth of galls on plants caused by 
the poison of an insect." What Darwin here calls a poison came 
to be recognized as a hormone — a chemical substance which has 
the power to induce or cause growing tissues to assume new 
forms. The tissues of the same plant can be made to produce 
galls of many kinds. " Many forms of gall-producing insects," 
writes Julian Huxley, " are distinguished solely or mainly by the 
type of gall to which they give rise." 18 

It was Ernest Starling 19 who gave the name hormone to 
chemical substances which control the physiological actions of the 
body. His, too, is the first clear enunciation that hormones 
control growth as well as function. In evidence of this I cite the 
following passage from his Croonian lectures of 1905 : — 

"If, as I am inclined to believe, all the organs of the body 
are regulated in their growth and activity, by chemical 


mechanisms similar to those I have described, an extended 
knowledge of hormones and of their modes of action cannot 
fail to add largely to that complete control of the body 
which is the goal of medical science." 20 

Each year which has gone by since 1905 has brought evidence 
in support of Starling's forecast; it became clear that the racial 
characterization of the human body is under the control of 
hormone action. 21 . The effects of castration, as was mentioned in 
the preceding essay, have been known from earliest times, but it 
was the discovery of hormone action that revealed the means by 
which such effects were produced. In 1885 Dr. Pierre Marie 
of Paris gave the name of" acromegaly " to a disordered growth 
of the human body, a disorder which, in the course of a few years, 
transforms the external appearance of the men and women who 
suffer from it. In all such cases it was found that the pituitary 
gland, at the base of the brain, normally small in size, had under- 
gone an irregular enlargement. The explanation of this disorder 
came with the formulation of the doctrine of hormones. The 
pituitary gland has proved to be the headquarters for the produc- 
tion of the hormones which control growth. Then, later, from 
1924 onwards came the knowledge that chemical substances 
akin to hormones control the development of the embryo. 22 
In this way anthropologists of the twentieth century were given a 
clue to the origin of racial characters. 

Disorders of the pituitary affect stature; they give rise to giants 
and also to dwarfs; they can strengthen the brow ridges, alter 
the shape and size of nose, chin, and face ; they can alter the 
texture of skin and of hair; they can alter the proportion of limbs 
to trunk. These alterations are due to disorderly action of the 
pituitary, but there are many instances of orderly increased action. 
For example, the majority of the characters wherein the gorilla 
differs from the chimpanzee can be traced to an exaggerated action 
of the pituitary. 23 Evidence of this is to be seen in the gorilla's 
great jaws, his bar^like supraorbital prominences, his enormous 
cranial crests, his large teeth, his massive body, and his extreme 
strength of muscle. Evidence carrying the same implication 
is met with in certain human families and also in some human 
races. Much still remains to be explained. There are forms of 
dwarfs such as those who are the subjects of achondroplasia 24 


and those suffering from " mongolian " idiocy which we are 
justified in regarding as examples of disordered hormone action, 
but the exact nature of the disorder remains obscure. In the 
achondroplasiac dwarf we meet with the flattened, retracted nasal 
bridge which prevails in peoples of the Mongolian stock. We 
have reason to believe that the formation and deposition of pig- 
ment in the skin are under hormone control, but exact evidence is 
still lacking. 

Such, then, is the present state of knowledge regarding the 
production of the external characters of the body, which, of 
course, include those which discriminate one race of mankind from 
another. How far can sexual selection alter the production of 
such characters and thus change a race? Let us suppose we have 
before us an isolated human community of early primal times. 
Within such a community there is a certain stock of genes, among 
them those which hand oil the determiners of hormones. Seeing 
that it is an inbreeding community, it might be expected that all 
members of the community would be cast in the same mould. 
This is not so. Only in the case of identical twins, which arise 
from the same ovum, do we meet with approximate identity. 
In a large family, born to parents who are cousins, we note that 
brother differs from brother, and sister from sister, although all 
may show a degree of resemblance. No two eggs, even of the 
same parents, receive the same allotment of the genes which 
determine the external characteristics of the body. Thus in our 
primal community there is still variety on which a lover's choice 
can be exercised. If that choice were uniformly to fall on a 
particular kind of face, then in the course of generations that type 
of face would prevail in the community. As we have seen 
(p. 1 86), the lover's taste is not uniform but rather indiscriminate 
in its action. Sexual selection cannot by itself bring about a 
discrimination of mankind into races, although it may assist in the 
differentiation of local breeds. 

In another essay I shall have to go more closely into the manner 
in which new races of mankind are produced. There is a pre- 
liminary step in my inquiry which I may profitably take now. 
Let us suppose that the primal group mentioned in the preceding 
paragraph has greatly increased in numbers, so mat part of it, to 
get enough to eat, has to seek a new home and territory. The 
genes which the colonists carry with them is a sample of the 


stock of genes circulating in the parent community. It is but a 
random sample of that stock, and is likely to be richer in certain 
genes and poorer in others than the mean of the parent com- 
munity. Thus in the setting up of a colony we have a new assort- 
ment of genes and hence the production of men and women who 
differ in details of form from those of the parent community. 
The essential factor in the production of races is not sexual 
selection, but the differentiation which goes on in cndogamous 


1 Darwin, C., The Descent of Man, Murray, 1913, p. 307. 

2 'Ibid., p. 909. 

3 Ibid., p. 890. 

4 Schultz and Snyder, Jo/1/15 Hopkins Hosp. Bull, 1935, vol. 57, p. 193. 

5 Hooton, E. A., Man's Poor Relations, 1942, p. 39. 

6 Ycrkcs, R. and A", The Great Apes, 1929, pp. 256, 542. 

7 Pearson, Karl, Annal. Eugenics, 1930, vol. 4, p. 13. In the author's 
opinion Pearson was the deepest student of evolution of his period. 

8 Pearson, Karl, Life ofGalton, vol. iiia, p. 233. 

9 Boas, F., Asia, 1940, p. 2\ t 

10 Hocart, A. M., Nature, 6 March, 1937, vol. 139, p. 415. 

11 Westermarck, Ed., Three Essays on Sex and Marriage, 1934. 

12 Darwin, C, see under reference 1, p. 825. See also Variation of Animals 
and Plants under Domestication, 1864, vol. 2, p. 100. 

13 Huxley, Julian, Nature, 1924, vol. 114, p. 464. 

14 Darwin, C, see under reference 1, p. 901. 

15 Frazer, Sir J. G., Totemism and Exogamy, 1910, vol. 4, p. 88. 
18 Hume, David, Essays and Treatises, 1772, vol. 2, p. 271. 

17 Darwin, C, see under reference 1, p. 91. 

18 Huxley, Julian, Evolution: The Modern Synthesis, 1942, p. 299. 

19 Starling, Ernest H., Professor of Physiology, University College, London, 
b. April 17, 1866, died May 2, 1927. 

20 Starling, E. H., Lancet, 1905, (2), p. 583. 

21 Keith, Sir A., Lancet, 1911 (1), 993 (Studies in Acromegaly); Lancet, 
1919 (2), 553 ("The Differentiation of Mankind into Racial Types"); Johns 
Hopkins Hosp. Bull, 1922, vol. 33, pp. 155, 195 (" On the Evolution of Human 
Races in the Light of the Hormone Theory "). 

' 22 Keith, Sir A., Human Embryology and Morphology, 1947, ch. IV. 
23 Keith, Sir A., Nature, 1927, vol. 120, p. 314. 
. M Keith, Sir A., Jour. Anat., 1913, vol. 47, p. 189 (Achondroplasia). 



Synopsis. — There is a stage in the development of the chimpanzee 
foetus when the distribution of hair is similar to that of the human body. 
Hairlessness in man has come about by the retention of a foetal stage 
of his development. The law of recapitulation is invalid for such 
characters. To the process which leads to the retention of foetal 
characters Louis Bolk gave the name of " foetalization." In the 
development of the human body new characters are interpolated with 
the old. Examples of foetalization. The palato-cerebral ratio. The 
movements of the foramen magnum. Mans orthognathy. Mans 
skull retains fcetal characters. Certain traits of the Mongol race are of 
fatal origin. The influence of endocrines or hormones. The correla- 
tion in development of man s brain and body. The process of foetaliza- 
tion also affects mental qualities. The prolongation of the periods of 
life. A definition of these periods. In man the period of active brain 
growth has been greatly extended. The prolongation of the " pre- 
paratory phase " of life. In this phase new and untried features make 
their appearance. These may, or may not, have a survival value. 
There is a similarity between the " progress " made by man under 
conditions provided by civilization and the advance made in the evolu- 
tion of his brain and body under conditions afforded by the preparatory 
phase of his existence. 

In the year 1908, when I was entrusted with the care of the 
Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, there was 
exhibited in one of its galleries a specimen which had been added 
in the time of my predecessor, Sir Richard Owen. It was the 
fcetus of a chimpanzee in the seventh month of development and 
therefore within a month of term, the period of pregnancy in 
chimpanzees being eight months. 1 Most visitors passed it by 
with merely a casual glance, believing it to be an example of a 



human foetus exemplifying one of the darker-skinned races, for 
the skin was caje-au-lait in colour and apparently bare. The head 
was of goodly size and crowned with hair such as is seen in the 
scalp of a newly-born child. In the final month of development 
the chimpanzee foetus becomes clad with hair, and is born a hairy 
animal. 2 The face, which was small, was turned down on the 
breast, while the lower limbs and feet were tucked against the 
belly. Those who looked critically at the specimen were sur- 
prised to find that the feet were provided with great toes which 
had the shape of thumbs. 

The lack of interest displayed by visitors in the specimen may 
have been due to a belief which was widely prevalent at the end of 
the nineteenth and at the beginning of the twentieth centuries — 
namely, that all the characters to be seen in a foetus are repetitions 
or recapitulations of ancestral traits. Darwin so regarded them. 3 
Haeckel 4 formulated this belief in his " biogenetic law," which 
read as follows : " Ontogeny, or the development of the in- 
dividual, is a shortened recapitulation of phylogeny, or the evolu- 
tion of the race." 5 If the law of recapitulation represented the 
whole truth, then we should have to suppose that the chimpanzee 
comes of a hairless human-like ancestry which later put on a 
hairy dress. Such is an impossible interpretation, for hairiness is 
one of the most ancient of mammalian characters, and all the 
records of the rocks are against it. The foetal chimpanzee, in its 
hairless stage, is not repeating an old or ancestral feature, but is 
exhibiting a new one. The stages passed through by a developing 
animal are not only retrospective ; they are also prospective. In 
the development of the body new characters are interpolated with 
the old. 

Man being a Primate, we must assume that he shared at one 
time in the universal hairiness of his Order. We may also assume, 
seeing his structural affinity to the chimpanzee, that he, too, in 
fcetal life passed through a hairless stage. In his later foetal stage — 
that is, during the eighth and ninth months — man retains this 
hairless state, and thus we have an acceptable explanation of how 
man came by one of his most peculiar characteristics. The 
hairless state is only one of the many fcetal traits which have been 
retained, and so have ( become incorporated in the structure of 
adult man. The passage of fcetal characters into adult life was 
named " fcetalization " by my friend Louis Bolk (1866-1930), 


who held the chair of Human Anatomy in the University of 
Amsterdam. He began his investigations in 1900, but was by 
no means the first to recognize that many of man's special 
characters are fcetal in nature; anatomists before his time were 
familiar with the idea. 6 One example will suffice. Havelock 
Ellis 7 after comparing the infantile characters of ape and man 
ends with this passage : " We see, therefore, that the infantile 
condition in both apes and man is somewhat alike and approxi- 
mates to the human condition. . . . We might say that the fcetal 
evolution which takes place sheltered from the world is in an 
abstractly upward direction." Nevertheless, it was the inquiries 
and publications made by Bolk during the first three decades of 
the twentieth century which compelled students of human 
evolution to recognize that the majority of man's structural 
peculiarities have come into being during the fcetal stage of his 
existence and have been carried over to adult life by the process 
he named " fcetalization." 

The hairless state of man's body, the character just discussed, 
is one which appears in a fcetal stage in the development of the 
anthropoid body, but in man's body is carried over from the 
fcetal stage to the adult. There are many other characters which 
show a similar transference. Man is remarkable for the large 
size of his brain and the small size of his face ; this, too, is a feature 
of the anthropoid at birth. To give precision of statement of the 
relationship of brain to face, I have been in the habit of using a 
formula which is constructed as follows : 9 The volume of the 
cranial cavity, stated in cubic centimetres, is employed to express 
the size of the brain ; the area of the dental palate, stated in centi- 
metres square, is taken as an index of face development ; the 
palato-cerebral formula gives the relationship of palatal area to 
brain volume. Thus in the skulls of European men it is quite 
common to meet with a palate of 25 cm. 2 combined with a 
cranial capacity of brain volume of 1500 c.c. In such instances 
1 cm. 2 of palate corresponds to 60 c.c. of brain; the palato- 
cerebral ratio is 1 : 60. In Australian aborigines the palate is 
larger and the cranial capacity smaller than in the European, the 
ratio being 1 : 40. Turning to the male chimpanzee, we find a 
palatal area of 46 cm. 2 conjoined with a cranial capacity of 
390 c.c; the palato-cerebral ratio is thus 1:8-5. hi the adult 
male gorilla the ratio is even less — namely, 1 : 7. But if we turn 


to the ratios of these anthropoids at birth, we find an approxima- 
tion to the human ratio. At birth a chimpanzee has a palate 
measuring 13 cm. 2 , a cranial capacity of 260 c.c. ; its ratio is thus 
1 : 20. In the gorilla at birth the ratio is 1 : 22, while in the new- 
born child it is 1 : 50. Thus we may ascribe the smallness of 
man's face and the largeness of the brain-containing part of his 
head to a tendency to prolong an infantile stage into adult years. 
We note, too, that man's infantile stage is an exaggeration of that 
seen in the young ef anthropoid apes. 

In the newly-born monkey and ape the great foramen in the 
base of the skull, by means of which the cranial cavity communi- 
cates with the spinal canal, is situated near the centre of the base. 
Man is the only Primate which retains this central position. This 
may be described as a fcetal inheritance. In all other Primates, as 
the permanent teeth erupt and the jaws and face grow, the open- 
ing, by a series of complicated growth changes, is moved back- 
wards until it comes to be situated at the hinder end of the base. 10 
There is a certain degree of movement in a backward direction 
in primitive human skulls, a greater movement in that of the 
female chimpanzee ; it reaches its maximum, so far as orthograde 
Primates are concerned, in the skulls of old male orangs and 
gorillas. A suckling monkey, clinging to its mother's breast, 
has to carry its head in the human position; hence the central 
position of the foramen magnum in the skulls of newly-bofn apes. 
Movement of the foramen sets in when the suckling period is 
coming to an end. This infantile stage has become permanent 
in man. 

Another growth movement, closely associated with that just 
described, gives man another characteristic feature — namely, his 
face. This is attached to the front part of the base or floor of the 
skull and descends more or less vertically from that base, whereas 
in all the anthropoids it passes to a greater or less degree in a 
forward direction. Man is orthognathous ; the anthropoids are 
prognathous. At an early stage of development the face in all 
monkeys and apes*is bent backwards under the base of the skull, 
owing to the part of the base to which the face is attached being 
bent downwards. As development goes on in the skulls of 
fcetal anthropoids, the anterior flexure of the base is undone, the 
face thus assuming its forward or prognathous position, whereas 
in man the fcetal flexure is retained to a greater or less degree, thus 


giving an orthognathous position to the human face. 11 Here 
again we have an instance of fcetalization. 

Fcetal and infantile anthropoids have bulging, prominent fore- 
heads, devoid of ridges. With the eruption of the permanent 
teeth, the forehead of the chimpanzee becomes transformed. 
Great supraorbital ridges are developed; the frontal bone is 
remodelled and becomes low and receding. In man, and also 
in the orang, the forehead retains the fcetal characters to a greater 
or less extent. The forehead of women is usually more fcetal 
in its characterization than that of men. In the extinct Neander- 
thal race, and in some other ancient races of mankind, the fore- 
head went through changes similar in kind to those seen in 
chimpanzees and gorillas ; in the more civilized races the infantile 
form of forehead is often retained. 

Many other human characteristics of body make a transitory 
appearance during the fcetal life of anthropoid apes. Three 
further instances may be cited now. Round-headedness (brachy- 
cephaly) appears in the earlier stages of fcetal development of the 
great anthropoids and also in those of man. 12 In the orang and 
in many human races this character is retained in the adult. 
Then there is an example on which Bolk laid great stress. 13 
In the face of a typical Mongol there is a combination of three 
features : (1) the nasal bridge is low and retracted; (2) a fold of 
skin, the epicanthic fold, passes from the root of the nose upwards 
to join another fold above the upper eyelid ; (3) the eyeballs are 
protuberant. In Mongolian peoples only does this combination 
of fcetal characters persist into adult life ; they put in a temporary 
appearance in the fcetal stage of a certain proportion of Europeans ; 
seventy per cent of Hottentots retain them. The third instance 
I am to cite concerns the prominent bony crests which are 
developed on the skulls of anthropoid apes and give attachment to 
the mighty muscles of mastication and to those of the neck 
which move the head. In the fcetal and infantile stages of 
anthropoid development these bony crests are absent ; the cranial 
bones are smooth and relatively thin ; the muscles just named 
expand over the surface of the skull, bony crests being thrown up 
for their increased attachment. Crest formation goes farthest in 
the male gorilla, to a much less extent in the female chimpanzee, 
while man passes little beyond the stage reached in the infancy of 
the ape. 


The example just cited is both interesting and instructive for 
the following reason. In the subjects of acromegaly the jaws 
again begin to grow, the muscles of mastication and those of the 
neck to expand their origins, and prominent bony ridges are 
formed. 14 These changes are brought into being, or stimulated, 
by a hormone or a combination of hormones thrown into circula- 
tion by a disordered pituitary gland. We may justly infer, then, 
that the development of cranial crests is controlled by a hormone 
or hormones formed in the pituitary gland; and that delay in 
the development and growth of bony crests is due to a reduced 
hormonal action. The various roles played by the pituitary 
hormones in the development and characterization of the body 
are handed on from parents to children by means of genes. 
These genes, we must infer, can undergo changes in the course 
of evolution. In the male gorilla, for example, the genes 
responsible for crest-aevelopment have undergone changes which 
lead to a more durable and more vigorous hormonal action, while 
in man gene changes have limited this action both in the time of 
its application and in the strength of its effects. 

In the evolution of man there has been a great increase in size 
and in power of the brain ; there has also been a reduction in size 
and in strength of the teeth and jaws. In peoples living under 
civilized conditions, if there is no indication that the brain con- 
tinues to increase in either size or power, there is evidence that 
teeth and jaws tend to a reduction. We may say that the process 
of fcetalization goes on in civilized communities, but such an 
explanation leaves this question unanswered : Why is increase of 
brain accompanied by a reduction of all parts connected with 
mastication? These changes are somehow correlated; there 
must be a factor, or a combination of factors, at present un- 
recognized, which during embryonic development correlates 
the organization of the brain with that of the body. As we have 
seen, (p. 86), the brutal anthropoid has a disposition to attain his 
desires by the use of physical force, whereas the disposition of 
modern man, in whom the process of fcetalization has wrought its 
full effects, is to settle his quarrels not by force, but by the milder 
means of understanding and stratagem. Changes in man's body 
have been accoirfpanied by co-related changes in his mentality. 

The process of fcetalization is applicable not only to characters 
of the body, but also to those of the mind. Apes, in their early 


youth, like children, are full of life and play. The adult anthro- 
poid, particularly the old male, is serious, morose, and short of 
temper. In mankind there has been a tendency to carry the joy 
of youth and the carefree spirit into adult life ; the retention of a 
youthful mentality is commoner among women than among 

Man is the most slowly growing of all the great Primates ; 
there has been a prolongation of all his periods of life within the 
womb and outside the womb. This matter is related to the 
subject just discussed; fcetalization is a prolongation of fcetal 
or infantile structures into adult life. The subject we are to 
consider now is the prolongation of life — of all periods of life — 
and the bearing of this prolongation on new developments in the 
evolution of man. 

The life of man may be divided into four periods. There is 
first the intra-uterine or fcetal period of 266 days (9-5 lunar 
months) ; secondly, the infantile period extending from birth to 
the eruption of the first molar, the earliest of the permanent 
teeth, a period of six years; thirdly, there is the juvenile period, 
one of fourteen years, extending from the sixth to the twentieth 
year, during which time the permanent dentition comes into 
use; fourthly, there is the adult period, covering in favourable 
cases a space of fifty years. The first thirty years of the adult 
period covers the years of female fertility ; the later twenty years, 
the time of decline. The duration of the corresponding periods 
in the chimpanzee is as follows : — 15 Intra-uterine, 23 5 days 
(8 -4 lunar months) ; infantile, three years; juvenile, eight years; 
the adult some thirty years, the first twenty of which are believed 
to be the fertile years of the female. Thus, compared with the 
chimpanzee, man's intra-uterine period has been extended by one 
month ; the infantile, three years ; the juvenile, six years ; the 
adult, some twenty years. We may take the rhesus monkey as 
representative of the smaller and earlier primate stock and com- 
pare its periods with those of the chimpanzee. In the rhesus the 
intra-uterine period is 166 days (6 lunar months), two months less 
than in the chimpanzee; the infantile period, 1-5 years, half the 
length of the anthropoid; the juvenile period, 6-5 years, being 
1-5 years shorter than in the chimpanzee; the adult period, some 
twenty years, ten years less than the estimate for the anthropoid. 
With the evolution of the large-bodied orthograde Primates 


there came a prolongation of life periods, a trend which reached 
its climax in the evolution of man. 

Man is remarkable, not only for the prolongation of his life 
periods, but also for- the prolonged period of active brain growth. 
In the gibbon, and the same is true of the rhesus monkey, the 
active period in the growth of the brain is reached at the time of 
birth. Their brain has then attained about seventy per cent of 
its adult size. After birth their brains grow at a rate which has a 
correspondence to body growth. Man, on the other hand, is 
born with his brain only twenty-two per cent of its adult size. 
There is a rapid increase during the first and second years of life, 
the seventy per cent figure being reached early in the third year. 
Thereafter the tempo of increase bears a relationship to the growth 
of the body. In the chimpanzee and gorilla there is a brief period 
of active growth of brain after birth, the seventy per cent phase 
being reached early in the first year. Thus the period of active 
brain increase in the rhesus monkey lasts for only six months, 
in the chimpanzee for eleven months, while in man it is extended 
to thirty-six months. Herein we see that an important, if not 
the most important, feature of human evolution — namely, the 
time taken to assemble and to organize the myriads of nerve 
cells and of nerve tracts which enter into the structure of man's 
brain exemplifies the law of fcetalization. 

The opening part of this essay was centred on characters which 
appeared in foetal life and later became transferred to adult life. 
In their foetal and infantile stages the young of man and of ape 
are large-brained and small-faced. It must be noted, however, 
that in these stages neither the utility nor the efficiency of brain 
and face is tested. In the foetal stage the mother's body supplies 
nourishment, warmth, and protection. Both brain and jaws are 
idle ; they have no duties to perform. In the infantile stage the 
needs of the young are supplied by parental care. The fcetal 
and infantile periods make up what may be named the " pre- 
paratory phase " of development, the phase in which structures 
are being built up* before they are brought into use. In the 
rhesus monkey the preparatory phase is short — namely, about 
two years ; in the chimpanzee it has been nearly doubled (three 
years and eight months) ; in man it has again been doubled (six 
years and nine months). Now, although it is in the preparatory 
phase of development that new features of the body become 


nriaalfest, it is nor then that they really came into being. Their 
presence in the foetus Las been " determined ' or ^ preceded by 
chances in the germinal seeds or genes which are responsible for 
their development. In the preparatory phase mew cruxacrers of 
many kinds may make their appearance; they may be useful or 
usetesj, neccsary or superfluous; as long as they are not lethal 
the fetus and infant survive. On entering the maturation or 
juvenile phase these new characters are " tried out. but it is only 
when the adult phase is entered that their fate is known. If 
such characters are useful and increase the chances of survival, 
then they are preserved ; if not, then they are finally eliminated. 
Man's prolonged preparatory phase provides increased oppor- 
tunities for the " try-out " of new characters arising from gene 

An instructive parallel may be drawn between the " progress " 
made by man under the conditions provided by civilization and 
the " advance " made in the evolution of his mind and body under 
the conditions which mark the long preparatory phase of his 
development. 18 Civilization was made possible by the accumula- 
tion of " capital." It was capital which gave men leisure to 
think, to invent, to decorate life, and thus enhance its value. 
Capital permitted men to explore and bring into use those latent 
gifts and faculties of their brains which, having no utility value, 
were left unexploited in primal times. During the preparatory 
phase of life the fcetus and the infant live on capital. The foetus 
lives on capital provided by the mother's body; the infant on 
capital supplied by parental care. The conditions which prevail 
in the preparatory phase of human life make evolutionary experi- 
ments possible on a large scale. The results of this experimenta- 
tion, the alterations of structure and the modifications of function 
so introduced may, or may not, have a utility value; they may 
represent the first stage of a process which is valueless until the 
final effective stage is reached. It was under the conditions 
provided in the preparatory phase that man came by the great 
potentialities of his brain, potentialities which he exploited in 
more modern times amid the opportunities provided by civiliza- 
tion. It was in the preparatory phase that the more recent 
modifications of man's body came into being, modifications which 
were carried into adult life by the process of fcetilization. 



1 Schultz, A. H., Quait. Rev. Biol., 1936, n, pp. 259, 425. 

2 The chimpanzee foetus mentioned in the text was described along with 
four others by Dr. Schultz m the Amer. Jour. Physical Anthrop., 19$}, vol. 18, p. 61. 

3 Darwin, C, Origin of Species, sixth ed., 1885, p. 396; Tlie Descent of Man, 
Murray, 1913, p. 923. 

4 Haeckel, E., Generelle Morphologic, 1866. 

s For a criticism of the law of recapitulation see an article by Dr. W. K. 
Gregory in the Amer.Jour. Physical Anthrop., 1925, vol. 8, p. 375. The history 
of the recapitulation theory is told by Professor A. W. Meyer, in the Quart. 
Rev. Biol, 1935, vol. io, p. 379. 

6 Kohlbriigge, J. H. F., Die Morphologische Ahstammung des Menschen, 
Stutgart, 1908. This author cites authorities who recognized foetal characters 
as a source of adult characters. 

7 Ellis, Havelock, Man and Woman, 1897, p. 25. 

8 For a summary of Professor Bolk's investigations, see Proc. Kon. Akad 
Wetensch. Amsterdam, 1925, vol. 29, p. 465. See also Amer. Jour. Physical 
Anthrop, 1929, vol. 13, p. 1. 

9 Keith, Sir A., The Antiquity of Man, 1925, vol. 2, pp. 524, 659; New 
Discoveries of the Antiquity of Man, 193 1, p. 105. 

10 Keith, Sir A., Jour. Anat., 1910, vol. 44, p. 251. 

11 Bolk, L., Proc. Kon. Akad. Wetensch. Amsterdam, 1922, vol. 25, p. 371. 

12 Schultz, A. H., Quart. Rev. Biol., 1926, vol. 1, p. 465. 

13 Bolk, L., Proc. Kon. Akad. Wetensch. Amsterdam, 1927, vol. 30, p. 320. 
11 Keith, Sir A., Lancet, 1926, vol. I, p. 490. 

15 Schultz, A. H., Quart. Rev. Biol., 1936, n, pp. 259, 425. 

16 Keith, Sir A., " Capital as a Factor in Evolution," Rationalist Annual, 
192J, p. 10. 



Synopsis. — The bearing of the discovery of extinct forms of anthropoid 
apes on the problem of human origin. An account of the discoveries. 
The evidence produced by Dr. Broom proves that the South African 
anthropoids were more akin to man than the author had originally 
supposed. The chief characters of the South African anthropoids. 
The difficulty in distinguishing man from ape. Darwin held that no 
line could be drawn between them. The author proposes to use the 
size of brain as a mark of distinction. The test applied to the hominids 
of Java and to the South African anthropoids. An imaginary group is 
followed across the frontier which separates ape-dom from man-dom. 
The instincts of the anthropoid (anthropoid nature) became the instincts 
of man (human nature). The relation of intelligence to instinct. The 
mental changes which accompanied an increase of the brain in mass and 
organization. The beginnings of speech. Man's emotional nature 
ivas enriched as his power of understanding increased. Why such an 
enrichment was rendered necessary. The place of the South African 
anthropoids in Dr. Broom's scheme of human evolution. Their place 
in the author's scheme of evolution. 

My argument had reached its present point when, in the spring 
of 19445, there came to me from South Africa a monograph 
entitled The South African Ape-Men : The Australopithecina 
by R. Broom, F.R.S., and C. W. H. Schepers. The senior 
author, Dr. Robert Broom, is my friend and contemporary; 
we were both born in the same year, 1866; we were both bred 
as medical men in Scotland ; both of us have developed, as a 
main interest, a study of extinct forms of life known only by their 
fossil remains: his chosen field lying in the transitional forms 
which lead on from reptile to mammal; mine 'in the narrower 
field winch leads from ape to man. In one sense I was the more 
fortunate; my office provided me with my opportunities, 
1 202 


whereas he had to pitch his medical tent in such parts of the earth 
as supplied his fossil needs. Hence he established himself in 
medical practice in a village in the southern part of the Transvaal 
to be near the fossil beds of the Great Karoo. In the year 1934, 
when Dr. Broom was in his sixty-eighth year, there came to his 
village two distinguished South African statesmen — General 
Smuts and the Hon. J. H. Hofmeyer. They begged him to accept 
a post in the Transvaal Museum, Pretoria, in order that he might 
be free to devote his genius to the untrammelled exploitation of 
his chosen field of study. Dr. Broom gladly accepted their offer. 
Long before Dr. Broom went to Pretoria he was interested in 
discoveries which were being made in a great lime-pit at Taungs, 
which is situated outside the south-western corner of the Trans- 
vaal and within British Bechuanaland. From that pit there came, 
in 1924, along with many other fossil remains, mostly of a 
Pleistocene date, a "fossil skull which Prof. Raymond Dart, of the 
Witwatersrand University, Johannesburg, announced x to be that 
of a very young but altogether new kind of anthropoid, much 
more akin to man than any living or fossil form then known. 
Dart's announcement was questioned by many of us ; 2 we were 
of opinion that the fossil anthropoid, to which the discoverer had 
given the name of Australopithecus, would turn out to be, when 
its adult state was discovered, a member of the family group to 
which the Hying African anthropoids belonged — the gorilla and 
chimpanzee. Dr. Broom took Dr. Dart's point of view and, when 
he went to Pretoria in 1934, determined to follow the matter up. 
In 1936 he was rewarded by the discovery of the fossil skull of an 
anthropoid which at first he believed to be the adult form of that 
found at Taungs, but later came to the conclusion that it differed 
so much from that described by Dr. Dart that it deserved a 
separate generic name — Plesianthropus. Then in 1938 fortune 
again smiled on him; the fossil bones of a third kind of South 
African anthropoid were discovered. To this third form Dr. 
Broom gave the name Paranthropus. The calcareous deposits 
which yielded th&e new forms to Dr. Broom were of the same 
nature as those at Taungs, but were situated within the Transvaal, 
near Krugersdorf, some twenty miles to the north-west of 
Johannesburg. * Meantime, on the strength of the evidence which 
had been accumulating, Dr. Broom believed that the antiquity 
of the South African anthropoids was greater than had been 


originally estimated, that the Taungs form might be mid- 
Pliocene in date, the others Upper Pliocene or Lower Pleistocene. 

hi the monograph which has now come to me Dr. Broom 
assembles the evidence which bears on the nature of the anthro- 
poids which roamed across the velts of South Africa in prehistoric 
ages. The evidence is dead against those of us who believed they 
would prove to be members of the gorilla-chimpanzee group. 
They differ from all living anthropoids in three important re- 
spects : first, their teeth are human ; if only the teeth had been 
found, they would have been accepted as evidence of the existence 
of man ; their canine teeth were not prominent and tusk-like. 
Second, such fragments of the lower limbs as have been recovered 
are human in shape ; if these only had been found, they would 
have been accepted as incontrovertible evidence of human 
existence ; the South African apes must have walked as men do. 
Third, the fossil fragments from their upper limbs were also 
shaped as in man; the arm and hand no longer served in loco- 
motion as in all living anthropoids, but were free to serve the 
needs of the body. The anatomical evidence suggests that the 
South African anthropoids were also human in this respect — 
their chief means of offence and defence were provided, not by 
great canines, but by means of improvised weapons wielded by 
the hand. 

Are we, then, to regard these extinct races of South African 
beings as men or as apes? This is how Dr. Broom sums up the 
situation : "It seems immaterial where we draw the line, and 
whether we regard the Australopithecines as sub-human or 
human. What appears certain is that the group, if not quite 
worthy of being called men, were nearly men, and were certainly 
closely allied to mankind, and not at all nearly related to the living 
anthropoids " (p. 142). Dr. Broomis thus of opinion that if we 
are to give a status to these extinct South African forms, we must 
place them among men, not among apes. Dr. Broom's junior 
partner, Dr. Schepers, who deciphered the brain equipment of 
these extinct forms from casts taken from the interior of their 
skulls, demands a human status for them in the most positive terms. 
" The least we can say," writes Dr. Schepers, " is that these fossil 
types were capable of functioning in the erect posture, of using 
their hands in a limited sense for skilled movements not associated 
with progression, of interpreting their immediately visible, pal- 


pable and audible environment in such detail and with such dis- 
crimination that they had the subject matter for articulate speech 
well under control, and of having developed motoric centres for 
the appropriate application; they were also capable of communi- 
cating the acquired information to their families, friends, and 
neighbours, thus establishing one of the first bonds of man's 
complex social life. With all these attributes they must have been 
virtually true human beings, no matter how simian their external 
appearance may have remained" (p. 253). In brief these extinct 
forms of South Africa were truly human, but were dressed in the 
garb of anthropoid apes. 

The discovery of extinct forms of man-like apes in South Africa 
brings us face to face with a situation which Darwin had foreseen 
as he wrote The Descent of Man. How are we to distinguish ape 
from man? As the following passage shows, Darwin was of 
opinion no line of'demarcation could be drawn. " In a series of 
forms," he wrote, " graduating insensibly from some ape-like 
creature to man as he now exists, it would be impossible to fix on 
any definite point when the term ' man ' ought to be used." 3 
There is the same difficulty in deciding when an infant becomes a 
child, yet it is useful to distinguish the one period from the other. 
The eruption of the first permanent molar teeth provides a con- 
venient mark for determining the end of infancy and the be- 
ginning of childhood. In the chimpanzee the first permanent 
molar cuts at the end of the third year ; in the human infant in the 
seventh year. 

What sign can we use to mark the end of apehood and the 
beginning of manhood ? The essential mark of man lies neither 
in his teeth, nor in his postural adaptations, but in his brain, the 
organ of his mentality. How big was the brain when it became 
capable of sustaining a mentality which may be called human ? 
In search of an answer to this question let us turn first to a primi- 
tive race of mankind, the aborigines of Australia. Professor 
Wood-Jones 4 found that the brain volume in aboriginal women 
may be as low as»855 c.c, and as high as 1470 cc. in men. The 
mean brain volume for the race is approximately 1200 c.c. The 
gorilla is the largest-brained of living anthropoids; in females the 
brain volume may be as low as 390 c.c. and in males as high as 
650 c.c. ; 5 the mean for both sexes, 470 c.c The Rubicon between 
apehood and manhood, so far as concerns brain volume lies some- 


where between the sum for the highest gorilla (650 c.c.) and the 
lowest aborigine (855 c.c.). On the strength of such evidence 
as is available to me at present I would say that the Rubicon lies 
somewhere between 700 c.c. and 800 c.c. ; to be more precise, I 
would say that any group of the great Primates which has attained 
a mean brain volume of 750 c.c. and over should no longer be 
regarded as anthropoid, but as human. Let us test such a standard 
on the earliest men of Java, whose remains have been found in the 
oldest deposits of the Pleistocene period (see p.- 225). The brain 
volume of one of the Javanese fossils regarded as a female has been 
estimated at 750 ex., while that of another, regarded as a male, 
950 c.c, the mean for the two being 850 c.c. 6 These early 
Pithecanthropi, then, have crossed the Rubicon as regards volume 
of brain, and all who have made a special study of casts taken from 
the brain-chambers of their skulls agree that the essential human 
features of the brain can be detected on them. 

Let us now apply this test to the brain volumes of the extinct 
South African anthropoids. The largest-brained is the form 
named by Dr. Broom, Paranthropus ; the individual studied had 
a brain volume estimated at 650 c.c. ; in two individuals of an- 
other genus (Plesianthropus) the estimated volumes were 435 c.c. 
and 560 c.c. Let us take the case of the Taungs child ; its brain 
volume is 500 c.c, its first permanent molars are cut, and it has 
therefore attained eighty per cent of its full size of brain ; if it had 
lived, its brain v/ould have been about 650 c.c. In contrast, let 
us consider the case of the oldest of the fossil skulls of Java. It is 
that of an infant about two years of age, and should therefore 
have attained about seventy per cent of its full size of brain. The 
brain volume of this infant is 650 c.c. ; if it had lived, it should 
have reached a volume of 845 c.c, thus almost reaching the 
Australian minimum. In brain volume, then, the extinct South 
African anthropoids fall short of the Rubicon ; they are anthro- 
poids, but of a kind which in structure of body and in form of 
brain come much nearer to man than do any of the living forms. 

I have given details relating to the brain volumes of extinct 
forms of anthropoids and of men because of a special object I have 
in view. I want to envisage, in imagination, a social group of 
these South African anthropoids and to follow it through long 
Eeons while the brains of its individual members grew in mass and 
in organization, until the Rubicon that lies between ape-dom and 


man-dom had been crossed. What are the changes in mentality 
which would have occurred at the crossing? From what we 
know of living anthropoids, we may infer that the chief mental 
activities of the group will be three in number — namely, those 
concerned with mating, maternity, and social behaviour. Each 
group will be attached to a territory and maintain its isolation. 
In living anthropoids, as we have seen (Essay XIV), all these 
activities are under instinctive control ; the members of a group 
followed a policy of which the ends or object were quite unknown 
to them. The structure of their brains was so organized as to 
secure the instinctive carrying out of such a policy. We know, 
however, that even in living anthropoids instinctive control is far 
from being rigid ; 7 they have the power of learning from 
experience ; that power they owe to the extent of their cerebral 
cortex. We may assume, therefore, that in the more highly- 
brained group, whose progress we are following, instinctive urges, 
when they rise within the field of consciousness, may not be given 
their appropriate responses; these responses may be modified in 
the light of experience. When our group has safely crossed the 
mental Rubicon and passed well within the realm of humanity, it 
has carried with it all the instinctive urges which served on the 
other side. The sole change lay in this : an increase in mass and 
in specialization of the cerebral cortex gave a higher degree of 
control over the inborn urges or impulses. Thus it was, as Dar- 
win had declared, there was no point in the passage from ape to 
man at which a bystander could have said : here simian mentality 
ended and there human mentality" began. The important fact 
for the student of human evolution to note is that man brought 
with him, out of ape-dom, the entire anthropoidal outfit of in- 
stincts, but had obtained an increase of cerebral cortex to enable 
him to control them. 

The relationship of intelligence to instinct has been discussed by 
many authorities. I need cite only a few of their statements. 
First, there is that of the philosopher-surgeon of the eighteenth 
century, John Huflter. "Man," he wrote, " has the instinctive 
principles of every animal, with this difference, that he chooses or 
varies the mode of putting these principles into action." 8 Then 
there is the opinion of a philosopher-physician of the twentieth- 
century, Wilfred Trotter, which he worded as follows : " Intelli- 
gence leaves its possessor no less impelled by instinct than his 


simple ancestor, but endows Hm with the capacity to respond in a 
larger variety of ways." * " LitelEgence and instinct are in- 
separable," is the opinion of a modern psychologist. C. S. Myers. 10 
Professor Drevei holds that " if there is emotion or interesi, then 
there as instinct." u To these may be added Herbert Spencer's 
statement that " Memory becomes necessary as instinct becomes 
intelligence." ^ 

The anthropoid ape has no means of treasuring and of trans- 
mitting its experience from generation to generation. The mother 
chimpanzee knows her child but has no name for it; the clriH 
knows its mother but has no name for her ; each member of a 
group knows every otter but has no names for them ; the} 7 know 
the things which are good to eat but these things remain nameless. 
The facts of birth and of death are beyond their comprehension. 
Such sounds as they use are expressive of their feelings and moods. 
When did man begin to be vocal — to apply names to things, and 
thus become capable of handing on experience? It was when 
certain cortical areas of his br^'-n underwent extension and 
specialization, especially changes which affected the frontal lobes 
of his brain. The circumstances which gave rise to these cerebral 
additions remain a mystery, but there can be no doubt as to the 
advantage they gave .o the group or groups in which such cerebral 
additions made thev appearance. Dr. Schepers claims to have 
detected the beginnings of the cerebral basis of speech in the 
cranial casts of the iouth African anthropoids. However wrong 
this may prove to be, there can be no doubt of their presence in 
the hominids of Java; they were alive at the beginning of the 
Pleistocene period, which, on our present crude geological scale 
of reckoning, is given an antiquity of about a milli on years. 
How much earlier the brain became an organ fit for speech we 
cannot tell, but when it did become fit man had indeed crossed the 
ape-man Rubicon. 

The great increase of cerebral cortex in early man was accom- 
panied by certain changes in his mentality. His powers of 
memory became greatly increased. His field of consciousness 
became widened and more brightly illuminated. He became 
capable of discriminating — of comparing in his field of conscious- 
ness one thing with another ; of detecting wherein they agreed 
and wherein they differed. Public opinion, which in an anthro- 
poid group is but a rabid exhibition of temper, became in early 


man a vocal criticism expressed by significant sounds. What he 
regarded as good had one vocal sound given to it ; what was dis- 
liked was given another. Morality became codified. 

As the powers of.understanding increased in early man, as his 
tree of knowledge flourished more and more, he became exposed 
to a grave danger — that of disillusionment. What would have 
been the fate of a primitive community if its members, as they 
began to understand the stark realities of life, came to share the 
opinion expressed by the preacher in Ecclesiastes? " Therefore 
I hated life ; because the work that is wrought under the sun is 
grievous unto me ; for all is vanity and vexation of spirit." 13 
Hume was of opinion that man was kept alive by a prejudice, and 
tins may be accepted as true if we agree that the instinct of self- 
preservation may be regarded as a prejudice. In the passage from 
the ape stage to the human stage there was introduced in the 
instinctive centres o*f the brain a magical texture which made all 
connected with life seem not only desirable but beautiful. This 
was so, not only with the " prejudices " which make us cling to 
life, but with all the urges connected with sex, with motherhood, 
and with homeland ; all became shot with a new radiance. What 
the nature of the neural changes which gave the human brain these 
magical qualities may have been we do not know, but they made 
him see beauty in what entered lus sensorium by the eye, to hear 
music in what entered by the ear, and turned the drab offices of 
paternity and of maternity into soul-satisfying ordinances. These 
marvellous changes belong to the obscure period which marked 
the rise of man's emotional system. Suffice it to say that as man's 
faculty of understanding grew so did his power of enhancing all 
that was felt, seen, and heard. 

How am I to fit the fossil anthropoids which were alive in 
South Africa during the Pliocene and Pleistocene ages into the 
scheme of human evolution outlined in Essay XVII? These 
animals, although anthropoidal in appearance and in size of brain, 
were yet human in their dentition and in carriage of body ; their 
habitual life was rto longer led in the trees but on the ground. 
My scheme assumes that up to the endof the Oligocene period 
(see p. 158) the great anthropoids (the gorilla, chimpanzee, and 
orang) and man*were represented by a common ancestry, all being 
strictly arboreal in habit. It was during this stage, my scheme 
assumes, that the anthropoidal group which was ultimately to 


evolve into humanity became separated from the groups which 
were to remain anthropoids. The limbs and bodies of the com- 
mon ancestry were then undergoing postural modifications, the 
lower limbs of the pre-human group or groups becoming more 
and more the chief means of support in climbing and, at the same 
time, becoming better fitted to serve as organs of progression on 
the ground. In the groups destined to remain anthropoid, on the 
other hand, both upper and lower limbs became more and more 
adapted for an arboreal life. In the ancestral, anthropoid groups 
the canine teeth became more and more developed as weapons of 
defence and offence, while in the pre-human group the canines 
fell into abeyance. My scheme assumes that before the end of the 
Miocene period the lower limbs of the pre-human groups had 
become completely adapted for a life on the ground ; they were 
thus no longer confined to a life in the jungle, but were free to 
roam in the open country and thus to have the whole earth open 
to them. The South African anthropoids seem to me to represent 
the stage reached by our human ancestry in the Miocene period. 
That representatives of this Miocene phase of man's evolution 
should have survived into the Pleistocene period in South Africa 
does not seem to me an improbable assumption. 

Dr. Broom's scheme of human evolution, and the place of the 
South African anthropoids in that scheme, differs from that I have 
just outlined. He holds that man's lineage separated from that of 
the great anthropoids at a much earlier geological epoch than 
that postulated by me ; he regards the separation as having taken 
place in the Lower Oligocene period, while the Old World 
Primates were still at an initial stage of their evolution. Here is 
a significant passage from his text (p. 142) : " And we may regard 
it as almost certain that man arose from a Pliocene member of the 
Australopithecines (South African anthropoids), probably very 
near to Australopithecus itself, and that the resemblances between 
the higher anthropoids and some types of man are merely due to 
parallel developments and do not indicate any close affinity." 

In the most important point Dr. Broom and-I are in agreement ; 
of all the fossil forms known to us, the Australopithecines are the 
nearest akin to man and the most likely to stand in the direct 
line of man's ascent. We differ in two matters : (1) he places 
the phase of evolution represented by the Australopithecines in 
the Pliocene, whereas, for reasons to be unfolded in the next essay, 


I think it necessary to attribute it to an older geological period ; 
(2) he attributes the structural resemblances of the Australo- 
pithecines to the living anthropoids as due to parallel evolution. 
I attribute these resemblances to a common inheritance. The 
points of structure which man shares with the living anthropoids 
are too numerous and too intimate to be attributed to anything 
else than an inheritance from a common ancestry. 


1 Dart, Raymond, Nature, Feb. 7, 1925. 

2 Keith, Sir A., ibid., Feb. 14, 1925 ; see also New Discoveries relating to the 
Antiquity of Man, 1931, chaps. I- VI. 

3 Darwin, C, The Descent of Man, Murray, 1913, p. 279. 

4 Wood-Jones, F., Man, 1932, no. 45 ; Jour. Anat., 1934, vol. 68, p. 323. 

5 Hagedooni, A., Anat. Anz., 192.6, vol. 60, p. 117. 

6 Koenigswald, G. H. R. von, Proc. Kon. Akad. Wetensch. Amsterdam, 1938, 
vol. 12, p. 185. 

7 Yerkes, R. and A., The Great Apes, 1929 ; Koehler, W., The Mentality of 
Apes, 1925. 

8 Hunter, John, Essays and Observations, edited by Richard Owen, 1 861, 
vol. i, p. 39. 

9 Trotter, W., Instincts of the Herd in Peace and War, 2nd ed., p. 97. 

10 Myers, C. S., Lancet, 1926, (1), 1183. 

11 Drever, James, Instincts, ch. VII. 

12 Spencer, H., Principles of Psychology, 4th ed., 1899, vol. 1, p. 432. 

13 Ecclesiastes, II, 17. 

essay xxn 


Synopsis. — The author summarizes the argument developed in the 
preceding essays and outlines the course it is to take in succeeding essays. 
Africa is postulated as the centre of dispersal of the anthropoid ancestors 
of mankind. Darwin's description of a migratory tribe. The spread 
of the Maoris in New Zealand. Although anthropoid apes and early 
hominids inhabited ancient China, they failed to reach the New World. 
Man's late arrival in America. The American Indians cannot be 
derived from any of the Asiatic peoples now living in the neighbourhood 
of Bering Strait. Nevertheless, the migratory movements of the North- 
ern Tungus help us to understand how the original settlement in Alaska 
was made. The original immigrants from Asia to America had a 
peculiar assortment of blood-genes. How this anomaly may be ex- 
plained. The author attempts a reconstruction of the dispersal move- 
ments which carried the original settlers from Alaska to Tierra del 
Fuego. Clans and tribes multiplied in numbers; so did forms of 
speech. Each new clan represented a new assortment of genes. An 
estimate of the number of " evolutionary units" ultimately formed in 
America. The anthropological effects produced by the introduction of 
agriculture. Later arrivals from Asia. Exogamy. 

My argument has now reached a point when it is necessary for the 
sake of the author, as well as for that of the reader, to look back 
and survey the road along which we have come and again to note 
the milestones we have passed to reach our present position. It 
may be convenient, too, at this point to glance foward along the 
path our footsteps are to follow and mark the'-heights we hope to 

First, then, let us look back and see how far our argument has 
carried us. Essays I— III were devoted to an exposition of the 
group theory of human evolution ; thereafter we entered on a 
detailed account of the factors concerned in group evolution. It 


man's ancestors spread abroad 213 

may have surprised the reader — it certainly did the author — to find 
how deeply "human nature" was implicated in the process of 
group evolution. Essays IV- XIV are concerned with the part 
played by mentality in group evolution : the attachment of a 
group to its territory; its consciousness of community; its 
patriotism or devotion to community affairs ; its co-operative and 
competitive complexes ; its prejudices ; its resentful and revenge- 
ful nature ; its continual search for status and power ; its loyalties ; 
its morality — all these being manifestations of " human nature." 
Essay XIV provided an interlude during which a brier survey was 
made of the factors which bring about functional and structural 
changes in man's body and brain. We found that in bringing 
about these evolutionary changes three factors were concerned — 
namely, production, competition, and selection. In the essays 
which follow XIV, such factors as group isolation, inbreeding, 
mating, marriage, sex differentiation, and sexual selection, which, 
at first sight, seem to be remote from the influence of human 
mentality, turn out on closer analysis to be very closely connected 
with it. Thus our main effort, so far, has been to set up what may 
be called the machinery of evolution ; now we are to study the 
effects produced by that machinery. Two of the preceding essays, 
however, have a direct bearing on the steps we are now about to 
take. In Essay XVII (the contrasted fates of ape and man) a 
geological scale of time was set up in order that we might be in a 
position to give approximate dates to the evolutionary events 
which have to be mentioned and described; in that essay, too, 
an opportunity was taken to discuss the bearings of genetics on the 
processes of evolution. Then, in Essay X XI man's anthropoid 
ancestor was set on his feet and brought to the mental Rubicon 
which has to be crossed before the term "human" can be claimed 
or admitted. 

Such is the point in human evolution we have reached. In this 
essay we have now to follow the pre-human groups as they spread 
abroad from the centre or centres where they made their first 
appearance. We*shall have to confess that, as yet, we have not 
the evidence which permits us to trace the spread of these fore- 
runners of man from region to region of the Old World ; but we 
do know that by the end of the Pliocene the status of humanity had 
been attained and that races of hominids were to be found in 
all the continental masses of the Old World. Later we shall have 


to inquire how each continent came by its own kind of humanity 
and kow these kinds became separated into local varieties. Then 
we shall have to discuss the rise of the modern races of mankind 
and the building of nations and empires. Nationalism and racial- 
ism, will have to come up for discussion, and the bearing -which 
these human passions have on statesmanship and on anthropology. 
If the theory of human evolution which is being expounded in 
these pages is well-founded, it should help us to understand how 
beings which were at first purely simian in nature became ulti- 
mately human; it should throw a new light on the problems 
which perplex the modern world; it should permit us to 
make a reasoned forecast of what the future has in store for 
mankind. So much, then, for the programme which lies in 
front of us. 

Meantime, we have to return to the spreading abroad of the 
ground-living forerunners of mankind, such as are represented by 
the extinct anthropoids of South Africa. Where are we to pitch 
the centre of dispersal? The evidence, as it stands to-day, favours 
Africa. It is in that continent we find the living anthropoids 
which are most akin to man in structure of body and of brain; 
it is there, too, that ground forms of anthropoids lived; 
the oldest and most primitive of orthograde forms lived in the 
lower valley of the Nile. If we may select one region as more 
likely than another, then our choice falls on the uplands of Uganda 
and Kenya ; during Upper Miocene times this area was the home 
of numerous anthropoids, one of which was akin to the gorilla 
and chimpanzee and yet in certain features more human than 
either. 1 If the spread was towards the north, the continent of 
Asia was open to the migrating groups, for at that period there was 
no Red Sea, Arabia being joined to Africa and India united with 
Arabia. Northern India, in Upper Miocene times, had a rich 
fauna of anthropoid apes, and it may have been, as Dr. Davidson 
Black 2 maintained; that the spread was from Asia to Africa, and 
not as I have postulated. Nevertheless, the evidence favours an 
African source, so, until we know better, I am' to regard the up- 
lands of East Africa as a centre for the dispersal of man's anthropoid 
forerunners. Nor should it be forgotten that at the date of which 
I write — Upper Miocene — Europe also provided a home for 
several forms of anthropoid apes. Thus, some ten or twelve 
million years ago, on the time scale we are using (p. 164), the 


great anthropoids had spread throughout the tropical jungles of 
the Old World. 

First, let us turn to passages in which Darwin gives his concep- 
tion of how the process of dispersal was carried out. His de- 
scriptions refer to early humanity, not to the more primitive forms 
which I have in mind ; in all stages of evolution the process of 
spread is likely to have been similar. Here is Darwin's chief 
passage : — 

" As it is improbable that the numerous and unimportant 
points of resemblance between the several races of man in 
bodily structure and mental faculties should all have been 
independently acquired, they must have been inherited from 
progenitors who had these same characters. We thus gain 
some insight into the early state of man, before he had 
spread step by^tep over the face of the earth. The spreading 
of man to regions widely separated by the sea, no doubt pre- 
ceded any great divergence of character in the several races; 
for otherwise we should meet with the same race in distinct 
continents ; and this is never the case." 3 

Here Darwin assumes that difFerentiation into races followed dis- 
persal. In another passage concerned with dispersal Darwin 
ascribes difFerentiation into races as a result of sexual selection, 
whereas modern anthropologists ascribe racial characterization 
to the action of hormones (see Essay XIX, p. 189). A passage 
from The Descent of Man 4 reads thus : — 

" Let us suppose the members of a tribe, practising some 
form of marriage, to spread over an unoccupied continent. 
They would soon split up into distinct hordes, separated from 
each other by various barriers, and still more effectually by 
the incessant wars between all barbarous nations. . . . The 
hordes would thus be exposed to slightly different conditions 
and habits of life, and would sooner or later come to differ in 
some small degree. As soon as this occurred, each isolated 
tribe would form for itself a slightly different standard of 
beauty, and then unconscious selection would come into 
action. . . •Thus the differences between the tribes, at first 
very slight, would gradually and inevitably be more or less 


An instructive example of the manner in which a primitive 
people effects dispersal in a new homeland is provided by the 
traditional history of the Maoris. Somewhere about the four- 
teenth century a.d. a few boatloads of Maoris reached the North 
Island of New Zealand, and married with the aborigines, the 
Moriori, whom they ultimately exterminated or expelled. Here 
is Elsdon Best's account of their spread : — 

"As the northern parts of the North Island became more 
populated by increasing numbers of the mixed Maori folk, 
inter-tribal quarrels became frequent, and weak tribes were 
often compelled to seek new homes elsewhere. The general 
direction of their movements was southwards, and so, in the 
course of centuries, many such peoples were pushed south- 
wards to Weirarapa, the Wellington district, and the South 
Island. As the population increased, so, apparently, did 
hostile conditions and isolation, for inter-communications 
between tribes would tend to decrease as dissensions and 
fighting became more common." 5 

These pioneering groups of a spreading people formed inbreeding 
communities, thus permitting a full development of their germinal 

Although anthropoid apes were living during the Pliocene 
period in that part of Asia which is now known as China, they 
never made their way into the New World. More surprising is 
the fact that the early hominids who inhabited China at the 
beginning of the Pleistocene period never reached the virgin con- 
tinent ; all authorities are agreed that there is no evidence of the 
existence of man in the New World until the closing phase of the 
last glaciation — that is to say, about 10,000 years ago. 6 Anthro- 
pologists^ agree that the conjoined American continents were 
populated by one breed of mankind, and that this breed came from 
the north-eastern part of Asia, and entered their new home by 
the ice-pack which forms a natural and easy bridge to the north 
of Bering Strait. 7 The inhospitable condition^ which mark the 
approach to the Bering Strait on the Asiatic side seem to have 
repelled all early inhabitants. Even Japan, which is 2,000 miles 
distant from the Strait, was not inhabited until the Neolithic Age; 
no trace has been found in it of Palaeolithic inhabitants. 8 

The peoples who now live in the north-east corner of Siberia 


cannot be regarded as representatives of the ancestral stock which 
gave birth to the pioneers who settled the New World ; all of 
them have full-blown Mongolian features ; in the pioneers these 
facial traits were still in an incipient stage of development. 
Although this is the case, yet much concerning movements, 
migrations, and spread of primitive peoples can be learned from 
the Tungus tribes who now inhabit the bleak and mountainous 
country along the upper reaches of the Lena and the lower reaches 
of the Amur valley. We shall not greatly err if we apply what we 
learn from the northern Reindeer Tungus to the movements and 
migrations of the pioneer immigrants. A distinguished Russian 
anthropologist, Dr. S. M. Shirokogoroff, 9 made a prolonged and 
detailed study of the Reindeer Tungus, and this is what he has to 
say about their migratory habits : — 

" The Tungus have migrated ever since the early ages. . . . 
Clans like the Samagir, Mamugir, Kindigir, and many others 
under certain circumstances have broken up into two or 
more territorial and exogamic units. ... So if the unit is 
too numerous, it divides into two or more new units; if 
too small, it joins any other clan. . . . The process of 
division and absorption of clans is especially intensive during 
periods of changes and migrations." 

And further it is of particular importance for our present object 
to note that " in the process of migrations two clans bound by 
marital exogamous relations usually separate, and the new group 
may continue to maintain endogamy" (p. 367). Thus a clan on 
the move is an endogamous, inbreeding, small community, made 
up of some fifty to a hundred families. " Every clan member is 
proud of belonging to his elan and is interested in its future 
success " (p. 189). " The fruit of the hunting does not belong to 
the hunter but to the clan " (p. 195). Such are the customs and 
habits of a modern migratory Tungus clan ; we shall not be far 
wrong if we attribute to the group or groups of Palaeo-Asiatics 
who made their way to Alaska and laid the foundation of the 
entire Amerind population of the New World the habits, customs, 
and clan organization still retained by the northern Tungus. 

In one respefft the pioneer immigrants differed from all the 
peoples who now live in N.E. Asia ; all of these are rich in a 
particular blood group, that known as " B " ; whereas this group 


is unrepresented in the Amerind population of the New World. 10 
Apparently in the germinal outfit of the pioneer group or groups 
the gene for " B " was absent. Now, the population of Asia is 
noted for the high proportion of the " B " group and. we infer, 
always has been. How, then, are we to account for the absence 
of this blood element in a people which was undoubtedly derived 
from Asia ? I account for it in this way. An inbreeding group 
or community may differ profoundly in its blood groups from a 
neighbouring group or community, although both may be 
members of the same tribe. For example, Dr. Shanklin- 11 
examined various sections of the Rwala tribe of Arabs ; in one 
section he found the " B " group unrepresented, while in another 
section of the same tribe the " B " and " AB " groups were repre- 
sented by 14.8 per cent of its members. Dr. Bijlmer 12 found 
a similar state of matters among adjacent communities in the island 
of Ceram. I assume, therefore, that the clan or clans of Pakeo- 
Asiatics, who first succeeded in reaching the New World, were 
inbreeding communities in which there were no bearers of the 
" B " gene, but only those which carried the " O " or " A " 
gene; I further make the bold assumption that the whole 
Amerind population of America, from Bering Strait to the Strait of 
Magellan, is the progeny of the original pioneer group or groups. 
Certainly the American Indians differ in appearance from tribe to 
tribe and from region to region, but underneath these local 
differences there is a fundamental similarity. This, too, is in 
favour of descent from a single, small, ancestral community. 

The pioneers who broke into Alaska had before them such 
limitless prospects as had never before fallen to the lot of any 
human community in the long history of mankind. Before 
them lay two virgin continents with fifteen million square miles 
of land, representing one-third of the total inhabitable area of the 
earth's surface. We may safely assume that the pioneers retained 
their clan organization ; as the original clan became of swollen 
size, it divided, the daughter clans spreading into new territories. 
And so the process of dividing and re-dividing went on; there 
must have been what we may call a " growing edge " of popula- 
tion advancing towards the south, advancing very slowly at first, 
but ever more rapidly as the number of clans and 'tribes increased. 
It took the white settlers two centuries and a half to spread across 
the United States from east to west, a distance of 3 ,ooo miles. It 


is about 12,500 miles from Bering Strait to that of Magellan. 
The spread of the white man was fostered and fed by emigration 
from Europe, whereas that of the Indian was a result of native 
increase, and would therefore be much slower — say one-fifth of 
the white rate. At such a pace it would have taken the descendants 
of the pioneers some 5,000 years to reach Cape Horn. 

As daughter communities broke away and became isolated 
from their parent communities, the parent speech underwent modi- 
fication after modification, so that by the time Cape Horn was 
reached thousands of dialects and scores of "families of speech " 
had come into existence. The more the forms of speech multi- 
plied, the more effectively were the Indian communities isolated 
from one another. Experts estimate that about 150 different 
groups of speech have been used and evolved by the native 
communities of America. 13 The theory I am upholding assumes 
that these 1 50 separate linguistic families have been evolved from 
the tongue of the original group of pioneers. If this is so, then 
these tongues, which seem unrelated, must have been united by a 
host of languages which are now extinct. Speech is infinitely 
more plastic to the impact of evolution than is the living human 

In the advance from the north to the south, groups, clans, and 
tribes must have divided and re-divided a very great number of 
times, new swarms passing out to form separate communities. 
Those who have not considered the matter may be of opinion 
that each new swarm carried away a fair sample of the genes cir- 
culating in the parent tribe. This is not so ; an inquiry by Dr. G. 
Morant 14 serves to illustrate the inequality of such division. He 
tabulated the stature of 700 soldiers recruited in Lanark- 
shire, taking hundred by hundred in the order of recruit- 
ment. Each hundred differed from the other in the distribution 
of stature and, we may presume, in the hereditary genes which 
control stature. If each hundred of these recruits had been 
members of a separate swarming group, then each of the new 
groups formed wauld have had its own individuality of stature. 
And so with every other feature of the body, such as shape of 
head, form of nose and face, colour of skin and texture of hair. 

North and south of the chain of lakes of North America there 
were evolved large tribes of tallish, finely made, but fierce men 
with heads varying on each side of the line which separates long 


heads from round ; such men provided the warriors of the Iro- 
quois, the Algonkins, and Sioux ; although of different tribes, 
these men were much alike in physical appearance. In South 
America we again meet with the tall type in the pampean plains 
and also forming a separate community in Brazil, but the pre- 
dominating type in South America is short in stature, with choco- 
late tint of skin and, most frequently, round of head. 16 But 
underneath these differences can be recognized a prevailing 
similarity, the inheritance from the ancestral pioneer group. As 
numbers increased, so did tribal competition and tribal selection, 
and so the rate of evolutionary change became ever more rapid. 

As to the number of separate inbreeding communities in 
existence in America when Colombus made his first voyage 
(1492), we have only uncertain data. In 1910 Dr. Roland 
Dixon 17 enumerated 280 tribes in the United States. Five of 
these were large, ranging between 15,000 and 30,000; forty-two 
tribes were on the verge of extinction, their representatives 
numbering ten or less. In Canada ninety-six separate peoples have 
been enumerated; in Alaska, sixty-six. Thus in recent times 
there were at least 432 separate breeding units in the six million 
square miles which form America north of Mexico. The total 
Indian population of that vast area in pre-Columbian times has 
been estimated at a little over a million. 18 There would thus 
be an area of six square miles for every head of the population. 
Almost, all of them were hunting people, dependent for food on 
the produce of soil, lake, and river. I have found that in most 
parts of the earth a primitive food-gathering people, as opposed 
to one which is food-producing, needs about two square miles 
per head for a comfortable subsistence. Dr. Hinsdale 19 is of 
opinion that, so far as concerns the Indians of the central lake 
district of the United States, tins is a gross under-estimate. From 
an examination of the number and size of camps left by former 
Indian inhabitants of that area be estimated that there were about 
thirty square miles for each member of the community. An 
estimate made by Lewis Morgan 20 comes neares to the estimation 
of two square miles per head. He was of opinion that in pre- 
Columbian times the State of New York, which contains about 
47,000 square miles, never had a population of more than 25,000. 

In South America, tribes were smaller and much more numer- 
ous. Admiral Markham 21 made a list of the tribes which live, 


or which have lived, in the valley of the Amazon, and found diey 
numbered 455. We shall not err greatly if we put the number 
of separate " evolutionary units " in the New World in pre- 
Columbian times at 2,000. 

At what point the tribes of Mexico, Central America, and of the 
Andean Plateau began the practice of agriculture and how they 
came to invent or to acquire this art are matters which he outside 
my purview. But the evolutionary effects of such an innovation 
in the mode of lifef annot be left unconsidered. The introduction 
of a native agriculture made the sparse tribes of the areas just 
specified, tribes of squat men, darkish brown in complexion, 
rounded in head, and roughly visaged, into populous communities. 
It is estimated that before the arrival of the Spaniards, Aztecs, 
Mayas, and Incas numbered about twenty millions, perhaps five 
times the population of the rest of the New World. Agriculture 
made the short, dafk, and round-headed breed the prevalent and 
the most surely rooted type in the continent. The hoe is a more 
effective evolutionary instrument than the tomahawk. 

There are at least two matters in the brief account I have given 
of the peopling of the New World with its original inhabitants 
which need amplification. I have written throughout as if there 
had been only one settlement and no more. There is ample 
evidence 22 that there have been fresh arrivals from Asia on the 
north-west coast up to comparatively recent times. The effect 
produced by such arrivals is of a local nature ; the fundamental 
anthropological unity of the original population remained un- 
changed. The other point which demands a word of explanation 
is my use of the term "inbreeding unit." There is a tendency on 
the part of many to regard exogamy, widely practised in all 
American Indian tribes, as a form of out-breeding. Exogamy 
extends only the size of the inbreeding unit. The exogamous 
tribe is still an inbreeding community. 

In this essay we set out to ascertain how the ancestors of man 
spread from the centre or cradle of their evolution — a centre 
postulated to havejaeen in Africa — and extended abroad until they 
became widely disseminated in the Old World. As we have as 
yet no evidence of the direction nor of the time of the dispersal 
of pre-hominick, we have been obliged to substitute for them 
primitive tribes of human beings. The peopling of the New 
World provided the kind of opportunity of which we were in 


search. Hence this essay has been devoted to the elucidation of 
the original settlement of America. In the next essay we are to 
find that mankind had become a universal species, and we have to 
consider how and when it became differentiated into so many- 
breeds or races, 


1 See reference No. 8 given on p. 170 supra. 

2 See reference No. 7 given on p. 170 supra. 

3 Darwin, C, The Descent of Man, Murray, 1913, p. 278. 

4 Ibid., p. 909. 

5 Best, Elsdon, The Maori as He Was, 1934, p. 28. 

6 Keith, Sir A., The Antiquity of Man, and ed., chs. XXIV, XXV; New 
Discoveries, 193 1, ch. XIX. 

7 The opinions of those who have devoted special attention to the original 
settlement of America by Amennds will be found in Early Man, edited by 
George Grant MacCurdy, Lippincott, 1937. 

8 Torii, R., see work in preceding reference, p. 361. 

9 ShirokogorofF, S. M., Social Organization of the Northern Titngus, Shanghai 

10 Gates and Darby, Jour. Roy. Anthrop. Inst., 1934, vol. 64, p. 23. 

11 Shanklin, W. M., Proc. Soc. Experim., Biol. Med., 1933, vol. 32, p. 754. 

12 Bijlmer, H.J. T.,Jour. Roy. Anthrop. Inst., 1935, vol. 65, p. 123. 

13 Kroeber, A. L., Anthropology, 1923, p. 98. 

14 Morant, G., Biometrika, 1939, vol. 31, p. 72. 

15 Morant, G„ Man, 1934, p. 103. 

16 Imbelloni, J., Anales Museo Argentino, Cien. Nat., 1937, vol. 39, p. 70. 

17 Dixon, Roland B., Indian Population in the United States and Alaska, 
Report of Bureau of Census, 1910. 

18 Mooney,J., Smithsonian Misc. Collections, 1928, vol. 80, No. 7. 

19 Hinsdale, W. B., Occasional Contributions from the Museum of Anthro- 
pology, University of Michigan, 1932, No. 2. 

20 Morgan, Lewis M., Ancient Society, 1877. 

21 Markham, Sir C. R., Jour. Roy. Anthrop. Inst., 1910, vol. 40, p. 73. 

22 Barbeau, M., The Geographical Review, 1945, vol. 35, p. 424. 




Synopsis. — In this essay it is assumed that Africa was the birthplace of 
humanity. Zeuners chronology of the Pleistocene period. Repre- 
sentatives of Early Pleistocene man. In Java. In North China. In 
Germany. In England. WeidenreicK s solution of the Piltdown 
conundrum. Rhodesian man — the most primitive form discovered so 
far in Africa. The' assumed spread of man s anthropoid ancestors from 
Africa into Asia and Europe to become the ancestors of Early Pleisto- 
cene man. Modification of the African theory to make it applicable 
to the case of Piltdown man. The evidence of the wide distribution of 
mankind at the beginning of the Pleistocene period derived from the 
stone implements preserved in deposits of that period. The Pleistocene 
may be described as the " human period " ; in it mankind underwent 
its most rapid phase of evolution. 

In the two preceding essays reasons have been given for assuming 
that somewhere in Africa, most probably in the uplands of East 
Africa, an anthropoid had become human in body, in hands, in 
feet, and in gait, but in brain and in face still remained anthropoid. 
Reason was also given for believing that this stage in human 
evolution was reached at the dawn of the Pliocene period of the 
earth's history, a period which on the time scale I am following 
(p. 164) had a duration of some seven million years. It is also 
assumed that at this juncture of human evolution the human- 
footed breed of anthropoids, although broken up into a number 
of groups or comrnunities, were still confined to the area of their 

It should now be my task to follow our anthropoid ancestors 
into the long Pliocene period, and to note the rise of their brain 
and their spread into the adjacent continents of the Old World. 
Alas ! in this year of grace — 1947 — the anthropologist has to con- 



fess that, for him, the Pliocene is his darkest of ages ; so far, not a 
fossil trace of Pliocene man has been found. Yet that such things 
did happen during the Pliocene Age we have the most complete 
assurance, for at the close of that age and at the beginning of the 
next, or Pleistocene, there is the definite evidence of the existence 
of primitive humanity in parts of the Old World so far apart as 
Java in the East, England in the West, China in the North, and 
the farthest point of Africa in the South. The evidence provided 
by the oldest Pleistocene deposits assures me thst man had crossed 
the mental Rubicon which separates him from the ape and had 
become the maker of tools and an inhabitant of all the continents 
of the Old World. 

In the broad scale of geological time a million of years has been 
allotted to the last phase of the earth's history, the Pleistocene. 
Seeing that the events which have determined the form and distri- 
bution of humanity as seen in the modern world were enacted 
during the Pleistocene Age, it is imperative that we have some 
form of time-scale which will permit us to trace the sequence of 
these events. Fortunately for us there can be discerned in the 
geological deposits laid down during the Pleistocene Age four 
cycles of climatic change, each cycle, so far as Europe is concerned, 
beginning with a cold or glacial period and ending in a mild or 
interglacial phase. In tropical lands each cycle began with a wet 
or pluvial period passing into a dry or arid phase. Dr. F. E. 
2euner * has made a close study of the evidence relating to the 
duration of these cycles ; the chronology adopted here is based 
on dates given by him. We shall work our way backwards into 
the Pleistocene, beginning from the present. We are living in the 
mild period of the fourth cycle, and to this mild space a duration of 
18,000 years is assigned. To the preceding cold or glacial phase 
of the fourth cycle a duration of 94,000 years has been given, the 
total length of the fourth cycle being thus 112,000 years. The 
term Wiirm is given to the glaciation of this cycle ; here we shall 
use the term " Wiirmian " to cover the duration of the whole 
cycle. We shall speak of the deposits laid down during the ■ 
Wiirmian cycle as those of the " Upper Pleistocene." It was 
early in the Wiirmian cycle that the ancient Neanderthal popula- 
tion of Europe was replaced by men of the Caucasian or modern 

Pushing our way up the stream of time we enter the third 


cycle; to this a duration of 114,000 years has been given, taking 
us to a date some 226,000 years from the present. The glaciation 
of this cycle is usually named Riss, and we shall use the adjective 
" Rissian " to cover both cold and mild phases of the cycle. The 
preceding, or second, cycle was of long duration, the sum allowed 
being 246,000 years. It thus covers a longer period than the 
third or fourth cycles put together. The cold phase (Mindel 
glaciation) of the second cycle was short, its mild phase being very 
long. To reach the beginning of the first Pleistocene cycle, 
which opened with the Giinz glaciation, we have to go back more 
than half a million years (586,000 on the Zeuner scale). This 
cycle had a duration of 114,000 years, being thus of about the 
same length of time as the third and fourth cycles. Behind and 
beyond the first, or Giinzian, cycle lies a vague hinterland of the 
Pleistocene period where the Pleistocene fades into the preceding 
period, that of the Pliocene. To this pre-Giinzian hinterland of 
the Pleistocene must be ascribed a duration of over 400,000 years 
if we are to give this geological period the round sum of one 
million years. 

When we come to deal with the geological deposits which have 
yielded the fossil bones of early man, certain terms will crop up 
which I must touch on now. There is the term " Lower Pleisto- 
cene " ; this I shall apply to the deposits or strata laid down in the 
pre-Giinzian interval and during the first, or Giinzian, cycle. 
For those laid down during the second and third cycles I shall use 
the term " Middle Pleistocene," while, as already mentioned, the 
term " Upper Pleistocene " will be applied to deposits laid down 
during the cold phase of the fourth cycle. 

Having outlined the scale of time we are to apply to the events 
of the last geological phase of the earth's history, let us take a 
bird's-eye view of the forms of humanity which were in existence 
during the first half of the Pleistocene — that is, down to the end 
of the first cycle (Giinzian). Our opening glance takes us to the 
Far East, to the island of Java, which in Pliocene and early 
Pleistocene times ,was joined to the mainland of Asia. Here, 
during the years 189 1-3, at Trinil, near the centre of the island, 
the first example of early Pleistocene man was uncovered by my 
friend Eugene Dubois. He was born in Holland in 1858 and was 
trained as an anatomist, but, believing that the mystery of the 
" missing link " could be solved in Java, joined the Nctherland 


East India Army as a surgeon in order that he might have oppor- 
tunities of exploiting his conviction. As we have seen, he proved 
that his conviction was justified. Dubois was of opinion that the 
deposits at Trinil that yielded him a fossil skull-cap, and a thigh 
bone which was manifestly human, had been laid down late in the 
Pliocene period, but subsequent investigations have proved that 
they are later than he thought, being now assigned to the closing 
phase of the first Pleistocene cycle. 2 Dubois regarded the fossil 
being he had found at Trinil as neither man nor ape, but as an 
intermediate creature which shared the characters of both ; hence 
he named it Pithecanthropus — the ape-man. 3 Certainly the skull- 
cap did look like that of a great ape ; it was low-browed, flat 
roofed, with great projecting eyebrow ridges. But when the 
cement-like material which filled its cavity was cleared out and a 
cast taken of the brain chamber, it was found that Pithecanthropus 
had a brain which was organized on a human pattern and had a 
volume of 935 c.c, thus falling within the lower limits of the 
human range. Until 1938 the fossil skull found by Dubois re- 
mained a unique specimen, but in that year, from the same geo- 
logical horizon of Java, von Koenigswald added a second, identical 
in all points with the original, save that it was more complete 
and smaller, the brain space measuring only 775 c.c. The second 
skull is regarded as that of a female; in size of brain she was just 
across the Rubicon, which it will be remembered was set at 750 
c.c. At the time of writing (1946), four skulls and parts of four 
mandibles have been founS, all attributable to the Trinil race of 
Java. 4 Although tins people were ape-browed and small-brained, 
yet their teeth were human, their canines scarcely rising above the 
level of neighbouring teeth. 

In the eastern extremity of Java, at Modjokerto, there are de- 
posits which are older than those at Trinil, having been laid down 
at the very beginning of the Pleistocene period. In 1936 von 
Koenigswald unearthed the fossil skull of an infant with such 
markings as lead experts to attribute it to the Trinil race. Its brain 
volume is estimated at 650 c.c. ; if the child had lived we expect 
that its brain would have attained the Trinil level — namely, 
between 800 and 900 c.c. Thus we have evidence that in Java, 
at the very beginning of the Pleistocene period, there existed a 
race of beings who were human in carriage of body, human in 
dentition, with brains which fell just within the lowest human 


level, yet in their skulls had many resemblances to African 
anthropoids. We shall see, in a later part of this essay, that traces 
of even more primitive beings have Been found in the older 
Pleistocene deposits of Java — beings whose characters are remini- 
scent of the South African anthropoids. 

From Java we are now to proceed to North China, involving a 
journey of over 3,000 miles ; there we are to pass in brief review a 
community of human beings, the Pleistocene contemporaries of 
the Trinil breed of Java. The scene of discovery takes us to the 
village of Choukoutien, situated in hilly country some thirty- 
seven miles to the south-west of Peking. Near the village is a 
small limestone hill which has proved to be a Pleistocene mauso- 
leum. During the first half of this period its caves and fissures 
had become filled up, and, as they filled bones of the men and 
animals inhabiting the adjacent area became cemented in, and thus 
preserved. Excavation of the hill began in 1926, and by 1940, 
when war brought excavations to an end, parts of thirty-eight 
human individuals had been found and examined. 5 Only five of 
the skulls were sufficiently complete to provide exact measure- 
ments. We turn at once to what these can tell us of the cerebral 
outfit of this Peking breed or race of Pleistocene humanity. The 
smallest of the five has a capacity of 915 ex.; the largest 1,225 
c.c. ; the mean of the five being 1,070 c.c. They were thus con- 
siderably larger brained than the Trinil breed. Because of this 
increase of brain, the Peking men had skulls with higher vaults, 
less receding foreheads, but they still retained the supraorbital 
torus of the African anthropoids; teeth and jaws were robust, but 
the rudiment of a true human chin had made its appearance. 
Although the Peking breed had advanced a degree nearer to 
modern man than the Trinil race, yet, as there are so many points 
in common between the two, we must infer both had sprung 
from the same ancestry at no very remote date. The chief point 
to note is that an early Pleistocene people living in the temperate 
climate, of North China had made' an evolutionary advance on 
their contemporaries living in the tropical climate of Java. 

Having noted the evolutionary stage reached by mankind along 
the eastern lands of the Old World during the earlier phases of the 
Pleistoceneperied, we now setout in search of their contemporaries 
in lands of the extreme West. So far as Europe is concerned only 
two sites have yielded fossil remains of people who can be regarded 


as contemporary with the Trinil and Peking breeds. These sites 
are at Heidelberg in Germany and at Piltdown in the south of 
England. At Heidelberg 6 a complete lower jaw was found; 
the gravel deposit in which it lay has been accurately dated ; it 
was deposited towards the end of cycle i — that is, during the 
Giinz-Mindel interglacial ; Zeuner gives it an antiquity of about 
500,000 years. The Heidelberg mandible is of a type which, in 
discoveries made in Europe of a later date, has always been found 
associated with a skull of the Neanderthal form, implying that 
Heidelberg man had a prominent supraorbital torus and pent 
forehead, thus resembling the African anthropoids. There are 
reasons for believing that the anthropoid-browed type extended 
right across the Old World from China to Germany during the 
first half of the Pleistocene period. 

The gravel deposit at Piltdown in Sussex, in which the fossil 
fragments of the skull and mandible of a human being were pre- 
served, is less well dated than that in which the Heidelberg jaw 
lay. This, however, may be affirmed : that Piltdown man was at 
least a contemporary of Heidelberg man ; more hkely he was of 
greater antiquity. The English representative of ancient man 
differed 'altogether from the types we have been examining in 
Java and China. His forehead was like that of the orang, devoid 
of a supraorbital torus ; in its modelling his frontal bone presented 
many points of resemblance to that of the orang of Borneo and 
Sumatra. Indeed, experts have attributed the Piltdown mandible 
to an extinct form of orang ; others to a form of chimpanzee which 
had made its home in the weald of Sussex during Pleistocene 
times. 7 It is quite true that the teeth do present a mixture of 
human and anthropoid features ; in degree of development the 
canine tooth rivalled that of the female chimpanzee. The skull of 
Piltdown man, although thick-walled and massive, yet in its 
general structure conforms to the type met with in modern races 
of mankind; 8 for instance, the mastoid processes, to which the 
muscles of the neck are attached, were such as are found in the 
most evolved of modern, mankind. In size of b?ain he had reached 
a modern level; the cerebral volume was not less than 1,350 c.c. 

The discovery of Eoanthropus, or Piltdown, man (1911-13) 
presented students of human evolution with a condndrum. How 
are we to account for this unique type of early Pleistocene man 
in England while the rest of Europe, and apparently the whole of 


Asia, were inhabited by variants of the pent-browed type? If we 
could get rid of the Piltdown fossil fragments, then we should 
greatly simplify the problem of human evolution. We should 
have to account for the evolution of the pent-browed type only, 
and the development of modern races from that type. A leading 
authority on such problems, Dr. Franz Weidenreich, has recently 
proposed 9 that the right solution is to deny the authenticity of 
the Piltdown fossil remains. Here are his exact words : " Eoan- 
thropus should be erased from the list of human fossils. It is the 
artificial combination of fragments of a modern-human braincase 
with orang-utang-like mandible and teeth." That is one way of 
getting rid of facts which do not fit into a preconceived theory ; 
the usual way pursued by men of science is, not to get rid of 
facts,. but frame theory to fit them. That is what I propose to do. 
It is important to remember, in connection with the Piltdown 
problem, that in Pliocene and early Pleistocene times England, 
like Java, was joined to adjacent continental lands, and so might 
provide a refuge for early, aberrant continental types. If we are 
convinced that evolution is the true method of creation and that 
man and anthropoid have been evolved from a common ancestry, 
what is more probable than that we should find early human 
forms in which anthropoid and' human features are combined ? 

Having made a running commentary on the early Pleistocene 
inhabitants of the Old World from Java in the east to England in 
the west, we return to Africa to see what that continent has to tell 
us of their contemporaries. So far not a complete bone of an 
African of the early Pleistocene age has been found ; 10 only their 
stone tools. The oldest of the African races so far discovered is 
that represented by Pvhodesian man. 11 His skull and skeleton were 
exposed deep in a limestone quarry in North Rhodesia in 1921 ; 
the fossil bones of animals found with him represent, for the 
greater part, living species. Such evidence as there is points to 
his existence late in Middle Pleistocene times. In several respects 
the skull of Pvhodesian man is the most primitive of human forms 
known to us. It js provided with the most enormous supra- 
orbital torus ever seen in any skull, anthropoid or human. Like 
the gorilla, Pvhodesian man was long- and heavy-faced; indeed, 
in several of hi$ facial features he resembled the gorilla. His 
upper jaw is particularly massive, and no doubt the lower jaw, 
which is missing, was equally so. The volume of his brain was a 


little over 1,300 c.c, thus falling short of that of Piltdown, but 
exceeding that of the largest-headed of the men of Peking. 

Let us .now return to the theory adumbrated in an opening 
passage of this essay (p. 223) — viz., that the centre of evolution of 
our anthropoid ancestry was in Africa, that by the beginning of the 
Pliocene period a stage had been reached equivalent to that repre- 
sented by the extinct races of anthropoid apes of South Africa. 
From this African centre the anthropoid-headed, human-footed 
ancestors of the human family began to spread outwards into 
neighbouring regions. They were certainly social animals, 
divided into many separate groups or communities. Some of 
these communities, we may assume, prospered and multiplied in 
numbers, and this led, as virgin territories were entered, to division 
and re-division of their small societies. We may feel assured that 
some communities, in their struggle for a living, went to the wall 
and were replaced by groups with a better outfit for the new form 
of life. And so groups slowly changed and evolved as they 
extended their distribution. No doubt there were " stay-at- 
home •" groups who preferred to remain in the territories they 
knew, while others, more enterprising and adventurous, pushed 
past in search of new homes. Probably the " advancing front " 
moved at a snail's pace compared with the rapid expansion which 
marked, as we have seen (p. 219), the settlement of the New World, 
but our Pliocene time-scale — one which allows seven million 
yeafs — provides more than a sufficiency of time for our scattering 
communities to reach the most distant parts of the Old World, 
before the dawn of the Pleistocene Age. 

A time came when these African forerunners of humanity 
reached the confines of Asia. In Pliocene times there was an 
easy access to that continent from Africa ; there was no Red Sea, 
no Persian Gulf; Arabia was watered and wooded. As our fore- 
runners moved towards the north, some groups, we may suppose, 
moved westwards into Asia Minor, where they would find a 
landbridge leading on to Greece and providing access to Central 
and Western Europe. Other groups may havp passed into Central 
Asia, but the pioneers which hold our immediate interest are those 
who turned their faces towards India and ultimately reached Java 
and North China, where, according to this theory of the African 
origin of humanity, they became the ancestors of the Pithecan- 
throps and Sinanthrops of the early Pleistocene of these lands. 


To the anatomist, the conversion of a South African type of 
anthropoid into the primitive forms of humanity found in Java 
and in China seems a feasible proposition. Such a transformation 
implies merely an increase in the organization and in the size of 
the brain, with a reduction in strength of jaw and teeth. There is 
additional evidence in favour of the theory I have outlined. In 
1945 Dr. Weidenreich 12 reported that fragments of excessively 
large jaws and teeth, stamped with humanoid features, had been 
found in early Pleistocene deposits of both Java and southern 
China. These fossil fragments have much in common with the 
corresponding parts of South African anthropoids. 

We now return to Africa to apply our theory to one of its own 
products — Rhodesian man. Of all forms of extinct anthropoids 
known to us those of South Africa serve best as his probable 
ancestor. It does not seem too much to suppose that in the course 
of some six million years or more the brain of an anthropoid 
should increase in size from 650 c.c. to 1,300 c.c. — the volume of 
the Rhodesian brain. Such a rate of evolution could not be 
described as rapid. In the case of the female Pithecanthropus of 
Java the rate was even less, for her brain had a volume of only 
775 c.c. In his teeth and jaws Rhodesian man may well be the 
descendant of Paranthropus, a South African anthropoid dis- 
covered and described by Dr. Robert Broom. 13 

The African theory, as just outlined, accounts very well for the 
pent-browed early types of humanity, but leaves unexplained 
such an aberrant type as that of Piltdown. To account for Pilt- 
down man our theory must be modified in the following respects. 
So far it has been assumed that the pioneer groups were made up 
of individuals conforming to one type — namely, that of the South 
African anthropoids This may not have been the case — there 
may have been more than one type. Seeing the close relationship 
of the orang to the African chimpanzee and gorilla, it is probable 
that this anthropoid, too, is of African origin. If this were the 
case, then it is possible that among the early forerunners of man- 
kind in Africa sorrle had inherited the orang form of skull and 
forehead. This is what I am assuming. This modification of my 
theory involves two other assumptions : — (1) that it was the 
orangoid forms that turned westwards into Europe and ultimately 
reached England, where their further evolution continued; 
(2) that those characters of the human skull we count modern, 


such as the mastoid process and chin, have been evolved indepen- 
dently in several early races of mankind. 

There is one important source of evidence bearing on the uni- 
versality of mankind at the beginning of the Pleistocene period on 
which I have not touched — namely, the evidence of his tools. 
The Pleistocene deposits of Africa, of Asia, and of Europe, from 
the oldest to the most recent, carry the stone tools which man 
fashioned at the time these deposits were laid down. Indeed, 
there is good evidence that tool-makers were alive in England 
long before the dawn of the Pleistocene. My friend the late 
James Reid Moir (i 879-1944) convinced most experts that stone 
implements of several types, which he found under deposits of 
late Pliocene date, had been shaped by human hands. 14 At 
Rabat, in Western Morocco, the Abbe Breuil found stone tools in 
the very oldest of Pleistocene deposits. 15 In and under the early 
Pleistocene on the eastern shores of Lake Victoria, at Kanam, were 
found tools shaped out of pebbles and also a fossil fragment of a 
human mandible. 16 A map showing the distribution of stone 
industries in earlier Pleistocene times, such as that prepared by 
Dr. T. T. Paterson, 17 shows a trail of this pebble culture from 
South Africa to Java. On many occasions Dr. L. S. B. Leakey 
has claimed that Africa led the way in the development of stone 
cultures. 18 

Although man crossed the mental Rubicon which separates 
ape from man in late Pliocene times, yet his real period of evolu- 
tion was in the Pleistocene. We may well speak of this period 
as that of the " human age." It is the age of human evolution. 
Even when we allow a million years to the " human age," we 
must count the rate of man's evolution during this age as very 


1 Zcuncr, F. E., Geolog. Mag., 1935, vol. 72, p. 350 ; Proc. Prehist. Soc, 1937, 
No. 8 ; The Pleistocene Period: Its Climate, Chronology and its Fauna! Succession, 

1945- ? 

2 von Koenigswald, G. H. R., Early Man, edited by G. G. MacCurdy, 1937, 
p. 25. 

3 Dubois, E., Pithecantliropus erectus, Eine Uebergaiigsform, Batavia, 1894. 

4 Wcidenrcich, Franz, " Giant Early Man from Java aid South. China," 
Antluop. Papers Atner. Mus. Nat. Hist., 1945, vol. 40. p. 1. 

5 Black, Davidson (1 884-1934), Palxontologia Sinica, 1927, vol. 2, p. 1; 
Weidcnrcich, F„ ibid., 1943, no. 127 ; 1936, vol. 7, Fasc. 3 ; ibid., 1937. no. 101. 


6 Keith, Sir A., The Antiquity of Man, 1923, vol. I, p. 319. 

7 Dawson and Woodward, Quart. Jour. Geolog. Soc, 1913, vol. 69, p. 117. 

8 Keith, Sir A., The Antiquity of Man, 1925, vol. I, p. 319. 

9 Weidenreich, R, Palxontologia Sinica, 1943, no. 127, p. 273. 

10 In 1933 Dr. Leakey found the symphysial part of a human mandible in 
early Pleistocene deposits at Kanam, on the Eastern shore of Lake Victoria. 
The fragment was heavily mineralized, bearing wom incisor, canine, and pre- 
molar teeth. In their size and arrangement these teeth agreed with those in 
modern man, but the fragment is too imperfect to give information as regards 
the type of man. (See Man, 1933, no. 66.) 

11 For an account of Rhodesian man, see Keith's The Antiquity of Man, 1925, 
vol. 2, p. 377. 

12 Weidenreich, F., see under note 4. 

13 Broom and Schepers, The South African Fossil Ape-Men : The Australo- 
pithecina, Pretoria, 1946. 

14 Moir, J. Reid (1 879-1944), Nature, 1941, vol. 149, p. 77. 

15 Breuil, L'Abbe" H., Nature, 1942, vol. 149, p. 77. 

16 Kent, P. E., " The Pleistocene Beds of Kanam and Kanjera," Geol. 
Mag., 1943, vol. 79, p. 117. 

17 Paterson, T T., Nature, 1940, vol. 146, p. 49. 

18 Leakey, L. S. B., The Stone-Age Cultures of Kenya Colony, 1931. 



Synopsis. — For the sake of brevity the author proposes to name the 
Australopithecince , " Dartians." The application of the " African " 
Theory to explain the distribution of the races of mankind. For this 
purpose a survey of their distribution is made in the essay. Tlie 
population of the Old World is separated by " the great Divide " into 
a pigmented southern zone and a less-pigmented northern zone. The 
northern zone is divided into Caucasia and Sinasia ; the southern zone 
into Africa, Indo-Asia, and Australia — each of these five divisions 
being inhabited by a distinctive stock of humanity. The racial characters 
of Caucasia. The Europinoids of Sinasia. Proto-Mongols. The 
Mongolian fades is of recent evolution. The racial characters of 
Sinasia. The Ainus. The triple division of the southern, or pig- 
mented, zone. The racial features of Africans. The facial features of 
the typical Negro are of recent origin. Tribal organization prevails 
throughout native Africa. The former existence of pigmented peoples 
in Arabia and in Irania. The racial features of the peoples of India. 
The Indonesians of Malay asia. The Andamanese. Australasia and 
the racial characters of its native peoples. The theory of group evolu- 
tion serves to explain the regional distribution of human races. 

In the preceding essay I felt the lack of a suitable name for the 
human-footed, ground-living anthropoids which we had reason 
to believe were evolved in Africa and, spreading into the other 
continents of the Old World, had given rise to the various known 
forms of early Pleistocene humanity. Seeing that Professor Ray- 
mond Dart l was not only the first to describe th?s form of anthro- 
poid, but boldly recognized it as representative of a stage in 
human evolution (the role to which I have assigned it in the pre- 
ceding essay), we may well name all erect, ground-living forms of 
anthropoids " Dartians " instead of Australopithecus, the name 
he gave them. At least by doing so we shall gain in brevity of 



expression. In this essay we are to fly at much higher game than 
in the last ; there we applied the African theory to explain the 
origin of the fossil forms of early man, but here we are to apply 
this same theory to account for the distribution of the living races 
of mankind, for I amconvincedthatit is only when we assume that 
Africa was the evolutionary cradle of early humanity that we find 
it possible to give an acceptable explanation of the racial distribu- 
tion in the modern world. 

Before we can apply the African theory we must first make a 
survey of the population of the Old World. To this purpose the 
present essay is devoted. Although I shall deal with areas and 
populations as they now are, it will be necessary, from time to time, 
to hark-back to their condition in the Old World of primal times, 
when men were separated into small groups and lived off the 
produce of their unfilled territories. Primal times, as we saw in 
Essay III, came to an end with the discovery of agriculture, an 
event which is usually ascribed to the eighth millennium B.C. 

We are concerned here with the main racial " divides " of the 
Old World, for, as we saw in Essay XXII, the spread of mankind 
to the New World is a comparatively late event. The great 
racial divide of the Old World, beginning on the Atlantic coast, 
follows the northern fringe of the Sahara and is continued east- 
wards across Arabia until the western end of the Himalayan chain 
is reached. The divide then follows the line of the Himalayas, 
crossing Burma and China, to end at the northern extremity of the 
Philippine Archipelago. All the peoples to the south of the 
divide are now, or were in primal times, pigmented to a greater 
or lesser degree, their skins varying from a light brown to a sooty 
black. To the north of the great divide peoples have skins of a 
lighter hue, varying from a yellowish-grey to one which is almost 
devoid of pigment. The great divide, as I have just drawn it, has 
been bent southwards both to the east and to the west of the 
Himalayan range. To the east, people of the Mongolian type 
have pressed southwards, and now occupy the Malayan Archi- 
pelago; to the west, peoples from the north have passed into 
India, Persia, and Arabia, but there is evidence, to be touched on 
later in this essay, that Africa and New Guinea in primal times 
were joined by" a continuous pigmented zone which crossed 
Arabia, India, and the lands of the Far East. 

We must now pass in brief review the main varieties or racial 


subdivisions of mankind, beginning with those which he to the 
north of the great divide. A hne drawn from the western end of 
the Himalayan range to the home of the Lapps in Northern Europe 
divides the northern hemisphere into two great regions. The 
region to the east and north of this line we shall name Sinasia, Sin 
being the ancient name of China ; Sinasia is inhabited by peoples 
who conform more or less closely to the Mongolian type. The 
region lying to the west and south of the dividing hne we shall 
name Caucasia, this region being the home of peoples usually 
described as " whites," or Caucasians. Europe, measuring 3-8 
million square miles, makes up the greater part of this region; 
Caucasia is completed by the addition of that part of Africa which 
lies to the north of the Sahara and that part of Asia winch lies 
between the Mediterranean and the Pamir plateau at the western 
end of the Himalayas, additions which give the homeland of the 
Caucasians a total area of about six million square miles. The 
population of the area is estimated to be (1946) about 600 millions, 
of whom 530 are resident in Europe. The Caucasians resemble 
one another in their hairiness, the relative paleness of their com- 
plexions, and in their facial features, in which the nose plays a 
characteristic part. Pigmentation decreases as we pass from Africa 
towards the Baltic ; the Caucasians who live farthest from Africa 
are the fairer in colouring, but even in the pigmented south, among 
the Berbers of North Africa and among the Kurds of Asia 
Minor, there are islands of fairness. Heads may be long, round, 
or of an intermediate form. In Europe the inhabitants are grouped 
into competitive evolutionary units known as nations, but in large 
areas of African and Asiatic Caucasia the tribal unit still prevails. 
For instance, Mark Sykes 2 found the Kurds divided into over 
three hundred tribes ; Prichard 3 enumerates seventy-three 
tribes of Iliyats in Persia, while in the North-West Frontier zone 
of India there are more than a score of tribal peoples. 

We now turn to a consideration of the eastern ethnic region, 
Sinasia, the home of peoples with a Mongohc cast of countenance 
— a cast which is easier of recognition than of measurement. Its 
area is much larger than that of Caucasia, measuring about eleven 
million square miles, but is in large part thinly populated — the 
total number of its inhabitants being about 530 ilullions. In this 
total are not included some 120 millions of the Mongoloid stock 
who have passed south of the great divide and occupied Indo- 


China and the islands of the Malayan Archipelago. These will 
come up for consideration when the southern ethnic hemisphere 
is dealt with. As to Sinasia proper, China, with its estimated 
population of 400 .millions, provides its chief nucleus. Indeed, 
we may say that China, which is a huge aggregation of village 
communities rather than a nation, stands to the rest of Sinasia 
much as Europe stands to the rest of Caucasia. Outside China 
the majority of Sinasians are organized in local groups, clans, or 
tribes. Between-.the Pamir on the west and southern China on 
the east Keane 4 collected evidence of the existence of about one 
thousand separate local communities. Tibet is still tribal for the 
greater part; at one time the Mongols were divided into 226 
clans or " banners " ; the Manchus were divided into sixty tribes, 
the Buriats into forty-six. In the whole of Sinasia there is but 
one people, the Japanese, organized and moved by the national 
competitive spirit which animates most of the peoples of Europe. 
Before enumerating the points which distinguish Sinasians 
from Caucasians and the darker peoples of the southern zone, I 
think it well to make a prehminary assumption. I assume that 
the fully developed Mongolian countenance is an evolutionary 
event which, in a geological sense, is of recent date ; that down to 
late Pleistocene times the facial features of the primitive inhabi- 
tants of Sinasia had many points of resemblance to those of 
the Caucasians. This assumption is supported by observations 
made on peoples living along the 3,000-mile frontier line which 
separates Sinasia from Caucasia. Along the frontier are many 
tribes which, although akin to the Mongols in speech, differ from 
them in having Caucasoid features. The Yakuts of the Lena 
valley are such a people; so are the pastoral tribesmen of western 
Tibet; the Turks came into being in this frontier zone. We 
may speak of people of Sinasia who have the Caucasoid type of 
countenance as Proto-Mongols. The tribes of N.E. Siberia 
which effected settlements in the New World were Proto- 
Mongols; so apparently were the late Pleistocene cavemen of 
Choukoutien of North China. 5 In Manchuria, in China, and in 
the upland valleys of Tibet, Burma, Siam, and Tonquin there 
are sporadic occurrences of individuals described as " Euro- 
pinoids " — people with Caucasoid features, and of a paler tint 
than is usual among true Mongols. If we accept the assumption 
that the earlier inhabitants of Sinasia had Caucasoid facial features, 


then we may regard " Europinoids " as individuals who have 
retained ancestral traits and assume that western Turkish tribes 
have preserved the Proto-Mongol type. The explanation usually 
given of the occurrence of Europinoids in Sinasia is that at an early 
date this ethnical region was " penetrated " by inroads from 
Caucasia. Such penetrations on a small scale there may have 
been, but if during the long Pleistocene period there had been a 
free intermingling of the peoples of Asia with those of Europe 
and vice versa, then there should have been, not a solid mass of 
one type in Caucasia and of another type in Sinasia, but a uniform 
hybrid type extending from Japan in the east to Ireland in the 
west. We must assume, then, that the Caucasian and Mongolian 
stocks have been evolved in the region where they are now 
found, but that both have a common ancestry. 

The natives of Sinasia are characterized by their facial features 
and by certain other traits. The hair of their heads is straight, 
stiff, long, and black; their bodies are almost hairless ; beards, if 
grown, are sparsely haired. The people of one area, the Ainus, 
have retained not only the Proto-Mongolian facial features, but 
have developed hair to the extent usually found in Europeans. 
The most feasible explanation of the hairiness o£ the Ainus is to 
regard it as a gene mutation, which occurred in people of the 
true Mongolian stock, or due to the survival of ancestral genes. 
The skin of the natives of Sinasia, varying in colour from that of 
brown leather to that of chamois leather, is uniformly more 
deeply pigmented than that of the Caucasians. The Chukchi of 
N.E. Siberia are said to be " of fair complexion " with a " coppery- 
coloured " skin, and some of the Samoyed tribes of the far north- 
west are described as " blond," yet it cannot be said of Sinasia as of 
Caucasia that the farther from Africa the lighter the degree of 
pigmentation, for the Sinasians of the Arctic north are as dark as 
those of the extreme south. But this is true : the farther from 
Africa the more emphasized does the Mongolian cast of countenance 
become. The Sinasians differ from the Caucasians in the relative 
proportions of their blood groups. In WestemEuropethepropor- 
tion of the " A " group is high, that of the " B " group is low. 
In Eastern Asia it is the opposite ; the proportion of " A " group 
is relatively low while that of the " B " group is lelatively high. 
There is evidence that the " B " factor or gene has extended its 
distribution from Asia into Eastern Europe. 


Having separated the lesser pigmented peoples of the northern 
hemisphere into two main divisions, we are now to give our 
attention to the more deeply pigmented peoples of the southern 
hemisphere of the Old World. We are to divide the southern 
zone into three main areas, each of which carries its own variety 
of humanity. The three main divisions of the South are : — 
(1) Africa, with its 125 millions of Negroid inhabitants; (2) 
Indo-Asia, which includes that part of Asia which lies to the 
south of the Himalayan range and extends from the Red Sea in 
the west to the Moluccas Passage in the east, thus taking in all the 
Malayan Islands which were joined to the mainland of Asia in 
earliest Pleistocene times; and (3) Australasia, which embraces 
Australia, New Guinea, and the chain of Melanesian Islands. 
The Australasians are the aborigines of these lands. 

Seeing the important role which I believe Africa to have played 
in the evolution of early humanity, it is necessary that we consider 
in some detail the dimensions of this continent and the physical 
characters of the peoples who now inhabit it. The majority of its 
peoples are deeply pigmented, their skin being black or of a deep- 
chocolate brown. While the Dinkas of the Nile Valley may be 
described as black, the not-distant tribes on the Welle, the Mom- 
buttu and Zandeh, have skins of a ruddy brown. The Bushmen 
and Hottentots of the extreme south have skins of a light brown 
or brownish-yellow tint, reminiscent of the degree of pigmentation 
found among Mongolian peoples. The natives of West Africa 
are more heavily pigmented than those of East Africa. All 
natives of the continent south of the Sahara — for that is the part of 
Africa with which we are dealing — have black " woolly " hair; 
only in the peoples of the north-east region, the home of the 
Hamitic Negroes, does it become frizzled and mop-like. The 
Hamitic Africans have their facial features modelled on Caucasian 
lines, their noses being relatively narrow and straight and their jaws 
not unduly prominent. In the population throughout the rest of 
the continent we meet with peoples who have assumed, in varying 
degrees, the faciaWeatures of the typical Negro. Noses are wide, 
and flattened on the face ; the lips are full and everted. We must 
regard the facial features of the full Negro, like those of the evolved 
Mongol, as sofhething new, something which came into being in 
Pleistocene times. Two fossil, but imperfect, human skulls found 
by Dr. Leakey in mid-Pleistocene deposits on the eastern shore of 


Lake Victoria certainly foreshadow the facial features of the true 
Negro ; so far this is the earliest record of the existence of the 
primitive Negro. As regards cranial capacity, which may be 
accepted as an index of brain Volume, the measurement which 
prevails in Africa is about ioo c.c. less than is met with in Caucasia 
and Sinasia. 

The area of Africa is 1 1.5 million square miles, but for our present 
purpose we must deduct from .this the Mediterranean zone which 
has been added to Caucasia and also the whole of the Sahara, so 
that the habitable area that remains for native Africans is only a 
little over eight million square miles. In a large part of this area 
the climate is tropical and much of the country is thickly forested. 
In the 125 million inhabitants of this area we find social units at all 
stages of evolution, from small local groups, as among the Bush- 
men, to multi-tribal kingdoms, such as that of the Baganda in 
East Africa and that of Bushongo in the lower Congo. The 
majority of the population, however, is grouped, or was so until 
Africa passed under the control of European Powers, in tribal, 
societies of varying sizes, each society occupying a separate or 
independent territory. In the Belgian Congo Hambly 6 enumer- 
ates 117 tribes, in Uganda sixty-one. The number of tribes given 
for Tanganyika 7 is 117. Keane 8 enumerates 110 peoples in the 
Bantu-speaking area; in the Soudan, which crosses Africa from 
west to east, south of the Sahara, he gives a list of 108 peoples. 
Many of these Soudanese peoples have borrowed genes, as well 
as culture, from Arabia. In the seventeenth century B.C. Egyptians 
found the Berberines living above the first cataract divided into 
113 tribes. But nowhere in native Africa has a group of tribes 
been welded together so closely as to form a national unit. Only 
in Egypt has this evolutionary stage been revealed, and, after some 
hesitation, I have assigned Egypt to Caucasia. 

We now pass to a consideration of the middle zone or division 
of the " Pigmented South " — Indo-Asia, of which India with its 
400 million inhabitants is the sole intact and surviving part. The 
lands which He between N.E. Africa and IndiS'are now occupied 
by peoples of the Caucasian type, but there are reasons for believ- 
ing that in primal times the pigmented belt swept on unbroken 
from west to east. Many of the Himyaritic tribeiFand peoples of 
South Arabia are deeply pigmented, with a strong resemblance 
to the Somali of N.E. Africa. The natives of Persian Arabistan 


are noted ior the darkness of their complexion ; the Brahuis of 
Baluchistan speak a language allied to the tongues of Dravidian 
India. But the chief circumstance which leads an anthropologist 
to assume a former continuity of the peoples of Africa with those 
of India is the degree of resemblance he finds between the Hamitic 
peoples of Africa and the Dravidian inhabitants of southern India. 
Here is Keane's description of typical Dravidians : " The stature 
is short, the complexion very dark, almost black, hair plentiful 
with a tendency*.to curl, head long, and nose very broad." 9 I 
would modify this description by saying that although " broad 
noses " are to be seen among Dravidians, yet the prevailing type 
is narrow and straight, and the features of the face, hke those of the 
Hamites, are regular and Caucasoid. Among Indian hill tribes we 
meet individuals with the woolly hair and thick lips of the African, 
but these are onl^ interesting exceptions ; most Dravidians have 
hair that is wavy or straight, and always black. The Dravidian 
body, like that of the Hamite, is almost devoid of hair and the 
face is usually beardless. In India, as in Africa, there are areas 
occupied by short- or round-headed folk, 10 yet in both countries 
long-headedness is the type which prevails. As regards volume 
of brain, Indians and Africans are on an equality ; their mean 
cranial capacity is about 100 c.c. less than holds for Caucasians 
and Sinasians. u In spite of invasions and penetrations from the 
north-west, India still remains part of the pigmented zone ; so far 
as concerns colour of skin these invasions have served merely to 
lessen the depth of pigmentation among the more northerly 

The inhabitants of India, like those of Africa, have retained a 
tribal organization. Within its area of 1-7 million square miles 
there are over 600 principalities, large and small, but in none of 
them, either now or in former times, was that degree of cohesion 
reached which entitled them to be described as national units. 
Millions of Indians are still grouped in primitive tribal units. The 
vast majority of Hindus are organized into social units known as 
castes ; there areover 3 ,000 of them. Castes represent evolution- 
ary units of a peaceful disposition. 12 

Beyond India, on its eastern side, is an area almost equal to that 
of India itseli? which may be named thej" submerged region " of 
the middle pigmented zone. It includes Indo-China, the Malay 
Peninsula, the Malayan Archipelago, and the Philippines. The 


inhabitants of all these lands, numbering some 120 mil li ons, hare 
tke Mongolian faces developed to a greater or lesser degree, but 
ethnologists have long recognized that in the present population 
there are traces of an older one. The Andaman Islands, situated 
between India and Bido-China, have preserved a sample of this 
ancient stock. The Andamanese are exceptionally short of stature, 
with deeply pigmented skins, and woolly black hair, but their 
nose is not flattened nor are their lips unduly thick. Peoples with 
similar Negroid features and of short stature are found in the Malay 
Peninsula and in the Philippines. Besides these aberrant peoples 
there are found throughout this -wide region tribes of ordinary 
stature, with facial features which may be described as Caucasoid, 
with skins varying in colour from light to dark brown, with hair 
which may be wavy or straight. In many parts this older 
Indonesian stock seems to have been absorbed by the invading 
Malayan stock. Among the Indo-Asians, as among the true 
Indians, long-headedness prevailed; the Malays, on the other 
hand, are mostly round-headed. 

There now remains for our consideration the third of the 
divisions of the pigmented southern hemisphere of humanity and 
the fifth and last of the human population of the Old World. The 
Australasians are the aborigines of four separated areas : — (1) the 
continent of Australia, extending to almost three million square 
miles; (2) the great island of New Guinea; (3) the chain of 
islands which stretch southwards from New Guinea into the 
Pacific and which will be spoken of as Melanesia and their 
inhabitants as Melanesians ; (4) the island of Tasmania. I look 
upon the aborigines of these four lands as descendants of a com- 
mon ancestral stock, their racial divergence being the result of 
long separation (from mid-Pleistocene times or earlier) ; the 
evolutionary changes are such as ensue in populations which are 
long isolated and inbred. The area of Australasia is about 3-5 
million square miles ; it is probable that its aboriginal population 
has at no time reached the million mark. Thus the Australasians 
form by far the smallest of the five great divisions of mankind, 
but for the student of human evolution they represent the most 
interesting and instructive of human stocks. 

In all members of thisrstock the skin is pigmented to a varying 
degree ; among Australian aboriginesit is of some shade of brown ; 
in the outlying lands — in New Guinea, Melanesia, and Tasmania — 


skin pigmentation is deeper, sometimes almost black. The 
Papuans of New Guinea have hair which is black, frizzled, and 
long, assuming in the mass the appearance of mops, but individuals 
with woolly hair and others with wavy hair are also to be met 
with. In Melanesia hair is usually frizzled, but true woolly hair 
is much more abundant than in New Guinea. The hair of the 
extinct Tasmanians was black and woolly. Among the abori- 
gines of Australia wavy hair is the prevalent form, but in certain 
areas, particularly -in the south, individuals with curly, almost 
frizzled, hair are still not uncommon. Perhaps the most outstand- 
ing of the physical characteristics of the Australasian are the low- 
ness of his forehead and the prominence and strength of his 
supraorbital ridges, particularly in the natives of the mainland and 
also of Melanesia. The nose is usually low and wide, but among 
Papuans it may be prominent and hooked. Jaws are strongly 
fashioned, especially the lower jaw. As is the case in Africa and 
Indo-Asia, long-headedness prevails throughout, although focuses 
of round-headedness do occur. The mean volume of brain is a 
little lower than in the two other divisions of the pigmented 
zone. Taking him all in all, the Australian aborigine represents 
better than any other living form the generalized features of 
primitive humanity. Throughout the whole of Australasia 
evolutionary units take the form of tribes or of village com- 

In this essay we have seen the reason for dividing the total area 
of the Old World into five major areas, each of which is inhabited 
by a particular type of humanity. We may now ask ourselves : 
" How has such an arrangement come about? " " Why is each 
distinctive stock of mankind confined to one particular region of 
the earth ? " If we believe, as many authorities do, that man, from 
his earliest stage of evolution, has been a nomad and a wanderer, 
that human communities have always been on the move from 
one part of the earth to another, everywhere meeting and 
mingling their genes, then we can offer no explanation of regional 
differentiation of naces. But if we accept the theory of group 
evolution, which implies that from the very beginning human 
groups were attached to their territories and moved from them 
only when nuiabers increased and new h$mes had to be found, 
or when compelled to shift because of the aggression of stronger 
neighbours, then an explanation can be given. Regionalization 



of race is in conformity with, and gives support to, the theory of 
group evolution. 

In the essay which follows we shall assume that Africa was the 
original cradle of humanity, and proceed to ascertain how far this 
assumption is justified by the racial characters to be observed in 
each of the five primary divisions of mankind. 


1 Dart, Raymond, vol. 116, Nature, Feb. 7th, 1925; Amer. Jour. Phys. 
Anthrop , 1940, vol. 26, p. 167. 

2 Sykes, Mark, Jour. Roy. Anthrop. Inst., 1908, vol. 32, p. 451. 

3 Pnchard, J. C, Physical History of Mankind, vol. 4, p. 56, 3rd ed. 

4 Keane, A. H., Man: Past and Present, new ed., 1920, p. 183. 

5 Wcidenreich, Franz, Peking Nat. Hist. Bull., 1939, vol. 13, p. 161. 

6 Hambly, W. D., African Anthropology. Field Museum Publications, 1937, 
no. 394. 

7 Handbook of Tanganyika Territory, 1930. 

8 See under reference 4, ch. III. 

9 See under reference 4, p. 187. 

10 Round-hcadedness is very uncommon among native peoples of Africa 
and of India. Lesser degrees of it occur among peoples of the Nile-Congo 
watershed (Keane, p. 79) and in peoples of the Cameroons. Most of the 
round-headed peoples of India have been derived from outside sources. 

11 Dr. Gordon Harrower of Singapore found that the mean brain volume of 
men of South China was 1,496 c.c, while that of Tamils of India was 1,3500.0. 

12 Hutton, J. H., Caste in India, 1946; Keith, Sir A., Essays on Human 
Evolution, 1946, p. 189. 

13 Keane, A. H., Ethnology, 1896, p. 264. 



Synopsis. — The African Theory assumes that the Dartians were dark 
skinned and carried the genes responsible for melanin production to all 
parts of the Old World. The evidence on which this assumption is 
based. Why the inhabitants of the southern zone retained the power to 
form melanin, and why this power was lost to a greater or less degree by 
those of the northern zone. The distribution of woolly , frizzled, wavy , 
and straight hair; difficulties in explaining this distribution. The 
difficulties are no less if we assume the centre of dispersal to have been, 
not Africa, but India. To explain the distribution of pygmy forms of 
mankind within the southern zone it is assumed that the tendency to 
produce dwarf forms was inherent in the genetic constitution of the early 
Dartians. This tendency is linked with two other characters, woolly 
hair and pigmented skin. The Dartians were of short stature, but 
carried the potentialities of a wide range. Dolichocephaly prevailed 
among the early Dartians, but the fossil forms found in South Africa, 
like living anthropoids, ranged from dolichocephaly to brachycephaly. 
The Dartians had anthropoid features ; human facial features have been 
evolved since the dispersal. The explanation of Mongoloid features in 
Africa and in Western Europe and of Caucasian features among Mon- 
golian peoples. Certain types of body and of face occur in all races. 
Evidence as to mental and moral nature of the early Dartians. Their 
habits of life. The African theory as a working hypothesis. 

In Essay XXIII it was assumed that human-footed, ground-living 
anthropoids had been evolved in some part of Africa, and that 
during the lorfg Pliocene period these primitive forms, which we 
are to speak of as " Dartians," spread slowly abroad, and so laid 
the foundation of humanity throughout the Old World. Of 



what colour were the Dartians, our anthropoid forerunners? 
Seeing that the African anthropoids, the gorilla and chimpanzee, 
arc heavily pigmented, and that all true natives of Africa are dark- 
skinned, we may infer that this was so in the case of the extinct 
anthropoids of South Africa, and also in the case of their cousins, 
the Dartians, who, spreading abroad, carried the melanin-produc- 
ing genes into the most distant parts of the earth. The African 
theory thus postulates that the originals of all races were dark- 
skinned, an assumption made by John Hunter in the eighteenth 
century on the evidence then available to him. 1 

The African theory thus explains why the three great racial 
divisions of the southern hemisphere should be inhabited by dark- 
skinned peoples, but gives no answer to those who ask the ques- 
tion : " Why have the peoples of the two great regions of the 
northern hemisphere — Sinasia and Caucasia — lost their original ' 
pigmentation, especially the Caucasians?" To answer this 
question we must return to the evolutionary centre in Africa and 
imagine what must have happened during the long period of 
dispersal. The Dartians were organized into a large number of 
small social groups, each being a separate inbreeding society. 
Some groups, we may legitimately assume, prospered, multiplied, 
in numbers, and, because of this, divided, new groups being thus 
formed. These new groups, to find room, had to move forwards 
to the growing or advancing edge of the area of dispersal. Thus 
the growing edge would be formed by groups which had recently 
undergone separation from older groups. Now, we have seen 
(Essay XXII, p. 219) that anew group carries with it an assortment 
of genes somewhat different from that of its parent group ; the 
more frequent the division of a group, the more will its assortment 
of genes tend to depart from the original outfit. These new 
groups, as they advance into fresh, virgin territory, are exposed 
to conditions which are novel to them They thus become further 
changed by new selective agencies coming into operation. Other 
influences also produce changes in advancing or pioneering groups. 
Their advance exposes them to changes of climate, of food, and 
of surroundings; immigrants are affected by such changes. 2 
Thus the groups which had advanced farthest from the original 
centre of dispersal would have undergone the greatest degree of 
evolutionary change. 

Here I expose myself to a criticism. The Dartians who laid 


the foundations of humanity in Java had made a longer evolu- 
tionary journey than those who carried their genes to China or to 
Europe. Why, then, did they retain their pigmentation while 
the others lost theirs? My answer is that the Dartians were 
evolved in a tropical climate and that their pigmentation protected 
them from the evil effect of actinic rays. 3 As long as their progeny 
remained exposed to tropical conditions, pigmentation had a sur- 
vival value, and therefore such as tended to lose their pigmenta- 
tion were weeded -out. It was otherwise with the Dartians who 
succeeded in reaching the more temperate climates of Sinasia and 
Caucasia ; if changes which involved a diminution of pigment- 
formation were otherwise advantageous to them, then they were 
free to. undergo such changes. Among the changes I have in 
mind are those described under the heading of " fcetalization " 
described in Essay XX. Some of man's greatest evolutionary 
advances seem to nave been made by his assuming characters 
which made their first appearance at a foetal stage of his existence. 
The white and glabrous skin of the European is a fcetal inheritance. 
The Mongol, with his yellow and hairless skin, has inherited this 
new trait to a lesser degree. We attribute, then, the paler skins of 
the northern hemisphere to the inheritance of a fcetal condition. 

We come now to the problem of the origin and distribution of 
that short, crisp, woolly form of hair which prevails throughout 
the greater part of native Africa. Man is the only Primate which 
has such hair. That of the great anthropoids is straight ; for 
example, in the orang it is long, straight, and harsh to the touch. 
We must infer, therefore, that woolly hair arose as a mutation. 
This opinion is justified by the fact that it still does come into 
existence in families of pure European descent, sometimes in 
families which have blond hair. 4 I assume that the woolly 
mutation occurred in certain groups of Dartians while still within 
their African centre of dispersion; other groups retained the 
straight or wavy anthropoid type of hair. Even in those groups 
which had mutated, one may assume that they still retained the 
genes for straight kair as " recessives," and that, in certain circum- 
stances, these groups could give rise to non-woolly progeny. 
Thus the African theory assumes that woolly hair made its first 
appearance in Africa and that its seeds or, genes were carried by 
the Dartians into all parts of the southern hemisphere of humanity. 

The theory, then, is that all the peoples of the southern hcmi- 


sphere were originally woolly-haired as well as pigmented. 
How, then, has it come about that in the extremes of this hemi- 
sphere — in Africa in the west, and in Melanesia and Tasmania in 
the east — woolly hair has been retained, while in intermediate 
areas, represented by Hamitic Africa in the west and by New 
Guinea in the east, peoples are now frizzle-haired ? How, too, 
are we to account for the fact that modern India, in the very 
centre of the pigmented zone, has a population which is pre- 
dominantly wavy or straight-haired, although among its hill- 
tribes woolly-haired individuals are still to be found? How, too, 
did the peoples of Sinasia come by their straight and stiff black 
hair, and those of Caucasia by hair which is wavy and may be 
black, brown, or blond? The explanation I offer is that the 
Dartian groups which emerged from Pliocene Africa still carried 
in their bodies, but in a recessive state, the genes for straight or 
wavy hair, and therefore it was always possible for their progeny 
to become again wavy-haired. 

It must be admitted that the African theory, in order to explain 
the distribution of woolly, frizzled, and wavy hair, makes very 
large drafts on the bank of genes. Critics may point out to me 
that all these drafts might be saved by presuming that it was not 
Africa but India which was the original centre of dispersal, for in 
the latter all types of hair are represented. If my critics assume 
that the first wave of people to emerge from India was woolly- 
haired, then they can account for the distribution of this type of 
hair in the extremes of west and east. If the second wave which 
went out from India was frizzle-haired, then that would account 
for this type of hair occurring in Hamitic Africa and in New 
Guinea. Lastly, it could be assumed that the last wave of 
humanity to emerge from India was wavy- or straight-haired; 
from the third wave was populated Australia, Sinasia, and 

Those who favour India as the original centre of dispersal have 
in mind India as it is to-day ; but the India we are concerned with 
is that of Pliocene times. In those times India was rich in her 
anthropoid fauna, but so far no evidence has come to light of a 
ground or Dartian type. Even if this type were to be found in 
India, we should still h?.ve to explain, first, how woolly hair was 
evolved, then frizzled, and lastly, hair of the wavy or straight type. 
We should still have to make large drafts on the bank of genes. 


As the evidence now stands we must regard Africa as the home of 
the fundamental Dartian type. 

We now turn for a moment to consider another problem — the 
origin and distribution of pygmy peoples. They are found only 
within the southern-pigmented hemisphere. In South Africa they 
are represented by the Bushman ; in the Congo basin by at least 
five separate groups ; in India by the Andamanese ; in the Malay 
Peninsula by the Semangs ; in the Philippines by the Aetas ; in 
New Guinea by the Tapiro and Aiome dwarfs. Two pertinent 
""facts must be noted in connection with these dwarf peoples : — 

(1) they have woolly hair and are more or less deeply pigmented ; 

(2) that in facial features and in colouring they resemble people 
of normal stature who live now, or presumably did in former 
times, in the same neighbourhood. For example, the dwarfs of 
the Welle Valley have the features and red colouring of the Azan- 
deh and Mombuttu tribes of that valley ; the Tapiros of New 
Guinea are dwarf forms of neighbouring Papuans. We infer, 
therefore, that these dwarfs do not represent a single race, but 
that they have arisen in several places, and at diverse times, as 
sports or mutations ; that the tendency to produce such mutations 
is inherent in the germinal constitution of Negroid peoples ; and 
that this tendency existed in the emigrating Dartian groups, and 
was carried by them to all parts of the southern zone. Somehow 
this tendency to give rise to dwarf forms is linked with the genes 
responsible for the development of woolly hair; at least in those 
regions of the world where woolly hair is lacking there is an 
absence of pygmy forms. The African theory helps us to under- 
stand why the distribution of pygmies is as we now find it. It is 
also of interest to note that one of the African anthropoids — the 
chimpanzee — has a pygmy form or sub-species. 5 

In modern Africa we meet with peoples of all statures, from 
the Bushmen of the Cape with an average height of 4 ft. 
10 ins., to the tall Dinkas of the Nile Valley with an average 
approaching 6 ft. The extinct anthropoids of South Africa were 
of small size. Froga the fragments of their limb-bones one infers 
that they had the stature of Bushmen, and may therefore be 
regarded as dwarfs or pygmies. Their African cousin, the 
gorilla, is of missive size; a male may attain the weight and 
strength of four ordinary men. Taking all of these circumstances 
into consideration, it seems quite probable that the Dartians, in 


their exodus from Africa, carried with them the potentialities of a 
wide range of statures. 

Does the African theory throw any light on the distribution of 
long-headedness and of round-headedness among human races? 
Among the modern peoples of the southern hemisphere long- 
headedness prevails everywhere — in Africa, in India, in New 
Guinea, in Melanesia, and Australia. In only a few minor areas 
is there an appreciable degree of brachycephaly. It is otherwise 
in the northern hemisphere. In Caucasia, while long-headedness 
prevails among the peoples of the south, west, and north-west, 
those of the centre, of the east, and of the south-east are mosdy 
short- or round-headed, or, as I would prefer to say, short- 
brained, for it is brain-growth that is the chief agent in determin- 
ing the shape of head. When we pass from Caucasia into Sinasia, 
short-brainedness still holds, but nevertheless the prevailing brain- 
form among the Tibetans and Chinese is of an intermediate type. 
Weidenreich 6 is of the opinion that there has been an immense 
transformation from long-headedness to round-headedness among 
the central peoples of the northern hemisphere during recent 
millennia. In this I am in agreement with him, although the 
manner in which this transformation has been effected still 
remains obscure. 

To explain the distribution of head-forms described in the 
preceding paragraph we should expect the early emigrants from 
Africa to be pronouncedly long-brained and long-headed. Let 
us, then, look into the brain-form of- the African anthropoids. 
We shall call all those brains short if their width is more than 
80 per cent of their length, and long if their width percentage is 
less than 80. Professor H. A. Harris 7 found that in the gorilla the 
width of the brain-chamber varied from 72 to 86 per cent of its 
length, the prevailing form falling near the line which separates 
" long " from " short." In the chimpanzee the index figure 
varies from 78 to 84, while in the Asiatic orang shortness is 
dominant, the index varying from 82 to 87. More to our purpose 
is the shape of the brain in the extinct anthropoids of South 
Africa. The first of these to be discovered had a long and narrow 
brain, the width being only 70- 5 per cent of its length. Schepers 8 
reports that in two other species of South African anthropoids 
(Dartians) which were discovered by Dr. Broom the brain width 
varies from 78 to 85 per cent of the length. Thus among the 


early Dartians there were both long-brained and short-brained 
forms. We must note, too, the brain porportions in the earliest 
forms of humanity known to us. Among the fossil men of Java 
the brain index varied from 76 to 82; among those of China 
(Sinanthropes), from 74 to 79 ; in Piltdown man it was about 79 ; 
in Rhodesian man, 79 ; among the Neanderthalians, from 79 to 
84. Thus we find the same range of brain proportions among 
the earlier forms of man as among the earlier forms of African 

As regards their facial features the African Dartians were true 
anthropoids. Their noses were wide and flat and sank into the 
contour of their prognathous, snout-like faces. We must assume, 
therefore, that the differentiation of the human nose into its 
several racial types took place after the Dartian dispersal. There 
is a parallelism between the distribution of forms of hair and of 
types of nose. Taking the southern-pigmented zone first, we 
note that in the extremes of this zone — in Africa in the west, in 
Melanesia and Tasmania in the east — a wide and flat nose accom- 
panies woolly hair. The aborigines of Australia, although they 
are no longer woolly-haired, retain the wide Negroid form of 
nose. In India, in the centre of the zone, noses have become 
narrow and straight and the hair wavy or straight. In nose shape 
the frizzle-haired Hamites of Africa agree with the natives of 
India, while the Papuans of New Guinea, on India's eastern flank, 
have noses of many forms ; often they are prominent, sometimes 
with an arched or "Jewish" outline, and usually of moderate 
width. In the peoples of Sinasia, in whom Mongolian features 
have reached a full development, the nose is relatively small and of 
moderate width. Its bony part, its root and bridge, seem as if 
they had become submerged in the inter-orbital region of the face. 
It is among the peoples of Caucasia that the nose has undergone its 
greatest evolutionary development. It is usually prominent, 
sharply demarcated from the rest of the face, relatively narrow, 
and is capable of assuming an endless number of shapes. A con- 
sideration of the .distribution of the various racial forms of nose, 
while bringing no support to the African theory, is not out of 
harmony with that theory. 

In favour q£ the African theory there is evidence which I must 
now touch upon. I have already remarked (p. 238) that anthro- 
pologists have often noted the occurrence of " Europinoids " 


among the peoples of Sinasia. In Africa, too, they have noted 
individuals with Mongolian traits. The resemblance of Hotten- 
tots to Mongolians in the colouring and in some of their facial 
features is a matter which has often caused astonishment. If it is 
remembered, as postulated by the African theory, that Hotten- 
tots and Mongols are co-descendants of a common Dartian stock, 
then we should not be surprised if some of these descendants have 
undergone a parallel evolutionary development. They are co- 
heirs of the same ancestral set of genes. Then there is the case of 
the Ainus of Sinasia, a hairy people with features in which Cauca- 
sian and Mongolian features are blended. If we accept the African 
theory, then we have to regard the peoples of Sinasia and of 
Caucasia as the collateral descendants of the early Dartian groups 
who made their way northwards into the central regions of the 
Old "World. Therefore I regard the Ainus, not as immigrants 
from Europe, but as " isolates " who have retained a high per- 
centage of the characters which were common to the ancestry of 
Asiatic as well as of European peoples. Likewise in Western 
Europe individuals are occasionally to be met with who manifest 
Mongolian features in their faces. To explain such occurrences 
we make big demands on the bank of genes, but, then, it must be 
remembered there are many undiscovered vaults in that bank. 

Two other potentialities we may ascribe to our Dartian fore- 
runners. We may assume that in their genetic constitution there 
was a tendency to produce two opposite types of body — the short 
and thick and the long and slender, for, as Weidenreich 9 has 
observed, these opposite types occur in all races of mankind. It 
is true that the short and thick type prevails among Mongolian 
peoples, and the long and thin type among the aborigines of 
Australia ; in Caucasia both types are equally common. We may 
presume, too, that there was a wide variety of facial features among 
the early Dartians. No two had exactly the same combination of 
parts ; each individual had its own distinctive marks. Schultz 10 
found among hundreds of American monkeys of the same species, 
collected in the same area of jungle, that the*features of then- 
faces " differed as much as an equal number of city-dwellers." 
Every Primate, be it ape or man, carries its marks of recognition 
in its face; hence the infinite variety of facial features within the 
same race. Yet under a coloured skin and arrayed in a distinctive 
racial livery one recognizes types of face which are common to 


all races. When living among a native people of the Malay 
Peninsula, I met with many faces which recalled those of my 
friends at home. Bijlmer, u I find, had the same experience when 
he lived among the Papuans of New Guinea. 

We come now to the most important of all matters which 
concern the early Dartians. What were their habits ? How did 
they make their livelihood ? What can we say of their mentality ? 
As to the South African anthropoids, their discoverer, Professor 
Dart, 12 has no manner of doubt; they were "animal-hunting, 
flesh-eating, skull-cracking, and bone-breaking " apes. If the 
evidence on which he has relied proves to be well-founded, then 
we must infer that in their habits and nature ground-living anthro- 
, poids differed altogether from the tree-living forms. The latter 
subsist on shoots, buds, fruit, leaves, and insects, but in no sense 
can they be described as hunters. The social groups in which 
they live are devoid of the instincts which animate a " hunting 
pack." In 1920, five years before the discovery of the South 
African anthropoids, my friend Carveth Reade 13 published a 
book in which he maintained that man had inherited his hunting, 
co-operative, cruel, and warlike proclivities from ground-living 
anthropoids which had all the instincts of a pack of wolves. The 
name he proposed for this form of anthropoid was Lyco-pithecus, 
the wolf-ape. At a still earlier date, another of my friends, Dr. 
Harry Campbell, 14 gave many reasons for believing that the " pre- 
human ape was a hunter." Such a life, he claimed, created 
situations " in which intelligence counted in the life struggle as it 
had never before counted." Dartians seem to answer to the postu- 
lates of these two thinkers : In the caves of South Africa are found 
the broken skulls of extinct forms of baboons ; these Professor Dart 
regards as the victims of his anthropoids. If this is so, then it is 
possible to suspect the Dartians of the cannibalistic practices which 
were certainly indulged in by early forms of mankind. 15 An- 
other of my intimate friends, Mr. Morley Roberts, 16 taught that 
cannibalism had been " a powerful factor of progress and human 
advance," a doctrkie which was repugnant to my personal outlook 
on humanity. Yet he may have been right, for we find a sober- 
minded ethnologist like Keane 17 saying this of cannibalistic 
peoples of Africa : " Here again the observation has been made 
that the tribes most addicted to cannibalism also excel in mental 
qualities and physical energy. Nor are they strangers to the finer 


feelings of human nature." All these items of evidence tearing 
on the mental and moral nature of the earlv Darrianis are unsub- 
stantial and highly speculative, yet to me the;/ are far from in- 
credible. "When discussing the duality of human nature i'*p. 121), 
we noted how easy and natural it is for mm and "women to frame 
their behaviour on a dual code of morality; so universal is the 
practice of this code that we must believe that the mental attri- 
butes on which it is based are a common inheritance of mankind. 
We have seen that the dual code is still in it*? incipient stage in 
arboreal anthropoids {p. 41), but in the ground forms, the 
Dartians, it seems to have become completely established. If we 
agree that the ground forms of anthropoids were evolved in 
Africa, and that their mental and physical nature were such as has 
been outlined in this essay, and that in Pliocene times these anthro- 
poid or Dartians spread abroad and laid the foundations of human- 
ity in the various regions of the Old World, then we have a 
working hypothesis which explains much that is now obscure in 
the rise of humanity. Such a hypothesis has one essential merit : 
it can be proved or disproved by the discoveries which the future 
will certainly bring to us. 


1 Hunter, John, Collected Works, edited by Palmer, 1 S3 7, vol. 4, p. 2S0. 

2 For changes in head-form and in stature of the children of immigrants, 
see Boas, Franz (1 858-1942), Changes in the Bodily Perm of Descendants of 
Immigrants, 1910 ; Kultur and Rasse, 2nd eel, 1922 ; Shapiro, H. L., Migration 
and Environment, 1939 ; Morant and Samson, Bicmetrika, 1936, vol. 28, p. I (a 
criticism of Boas's work). 

3 Dr. Rupert WiUis informs me that among the people of Australia those 
with lightly pigmented skins are the most liable to cancer of the skin. In the 
congenital condition known as Xeroderma pigmentosa, the parts of sldn exposed 
to light are those most liable to turn cancerous. 

i Cases of woolly hair occurring in European families have been reported 
by Anderson, F., Jour. Hered., 1936, vol. 27, p. 444 ; Mohr, O. L., ibid., 1933, 
vol. 23, No. 9; van Bernmelcn, Bull. Soc. Morph., 1928, No. 1-2; Talko- 
Hymcewicz, J., Bull. Acad. Sc. Cracovie, 1911, p. 164. 

5 A dwarf species of chimpanzee (A paniscus) was discovered in the Congo 
by C. Schwarz in 1929. A full description of this neWspecies was given by 
Dr. H. Coolidge in the Amer.Jour. Phys. Anthrop., 1935, vol. 18, p. 1. 

6 Weidcnreich, Franz, South-Western Joum. Anthrop., 1945, vol. I, p. I. 

7 Harris H. A., Proc. Zed. Soc. Lond., 1927, p. 491. 

8 Schepcrs, C. W. H., sc- note 13, p. 233 supra (Essay XaHI). 

9 Weidcnreich, F-, Rasse and Koerperbau, 1927. 

10 Sckultz, A. H. r Science Monthly, 1932, vol. 34, p. 360. 


11 Bijlmer, Dr. H. J. T., A Thesis on New Guinea, 1922 

12 Dart, Professor Raymond, S A. Jour. Sc , 1929, vol 26, p. 648 ; see also 
i 21 of work cited in note 13, p. 233 supra (Essay XXIII). 

13 Reade, Carveth, The Origin of Man, 1920, pp. 8, 18. 

14 Campbell, Dr. Harry, Lancet, 1921, (2), p. 629. 

15 Keith, Sir A., Essays on Human Evolution, 1946, p. 178. 

16 Roberts, Morley, Warfare m the Human Body, 1920, p. 146. 

17 Keane, A. H., Man : Past and Present, 1920, p. 82. 




Synopsis. — A statement of the problems relating to the origin of modern 
races of mankind. The theory which was prevalent in the opening 
decades of the twentieth century. The theory of regional evolution 
enunciated by the author in 1936. The origin of the native peoples of 
Australasia traced to the Pithecanthropus type of Java. Evidence 
pointing to the descent of Bushman and Hottentot races from a Pleisto- 
cene type represented by Rhodesian man. The fossil evidence, 
although incomplete , favours the idea that the Hamitic type was evolved 
in East Africa and the Chinese type in China. The origin of the 
Caucasian type. It is held that this type was evolved in Central or 
S.W. Asia from an ancestor of the Neanderthal type. The bearing 
of the discovery of an intermediate fossil type at Mount Carmel on this 
interpretation. The Pleistocene invasion of Europe by Caucasians and 
the extermination of the Neanderthalians. Evidence that human races 
have " converged " during the Pleistocene phase of their evolution. 
The reasons which have led the author to abandon his earlier belief that 
the " modern type " of man was of ancient origin. 

In order that you may follow my line of argument, let me put 
before you samples of the problems I intend to explore in this 
essay. Take the Mongolian peoples, for example, so different 

* The opening passages of this essay are taken almost verbatim from a 
Presidential Address which I gave to the members of the British Speleological 
Association at Buxton on July 25th, 1936. This was, so far as I know, the 
first time the conception had been put forward that modern races of mankind 
arc the direct descendants of early Pleistocene forms "of humanity. The 
address was published in full in Caves and Cave Hunting, vol. 1, and in Nature, 
1936, vol. 138, p. 194. Knowing nothing ofmy address, Dr. Franz Weidenreich 
enunciated the same idea in the Trans. Amer. Philosoph. Soc, 194.1, vol. 31, p. 32. 
Professor Ruggles Gates also favours the idea that races have been evolved in 
the regions where they arc now found (Amer. Jour. Phys. Anthrop., 1944, 
N.S., vol. 12, p. 279). 



individually, and yet so alike in the mass that they are unmistak- 
able to the trained eye. When and how did the eastern lands of 
Asia become the home of these peoples ? Was the type evolved 
where we now find it ? Or let us ask — is Africa the home of the 
Negro? Was the type evolved in that continent? Then let us 
take the Australian type, represented by the aborigines of 
Australia and by the natives of adjoining islands. When and 
where did this type of humanity come into existence? Was it 
cradled and evolved in that part of the world where we now find 
it ? Or was its cradle elsewhere ? Then there is our own type — 
the European or Caucasian. Were our bodies and brains evolved 
in Europe? If not, where are we to seek for the ancestor of our 
type?- All these types — Mongolian, Australian, Negro, and 
Caucasian — we presume to be the progeny of a common or pri- 
mordial stock. Has cave exploration thrown any light on the 
break up of this stock and of its dispersion into all parts of the 

Does the evidence which we are now accumulating support the 
preconceptions we have formed concerning the solution of these 
problems ? I have to confess that recent discoveries are upsetting 
our older ideas. The new facts, such as they are, do not support 
opinions usually held concerning the origin of the chief racial 
stocks of humanity. The most divergent races of modern man 
are, from an anatomist's point of view, not really far apart. 
There is no race that is not fertile with another. All seem to be 
the progeny of a common stock. We have been searching caves 
and river deposits all over the world in the hope of finding the 
common ancestor of modern types of humanity — black and 
brown, white and yellow. We have expected to find their 
common ancestor among the fossil types which flourished during 
the middle part of the Pleistocene period, one which — on the 
shorter reckoning — carries us back some 250,000 years, or, if we 
count by generations, then some 10,000 of them. From a single 
centre we expected to be able to trace the diffusion of modern 
man into all parts of the earth where demarcation of colour and of 
features occurred. Such was the theory which guided our 
inquiries and such were our expectations. 

The theory^ust outlined is, in reality, ljttle more than a modi- 
fied version of the account in Genesis of " Shem, Ham, and 
Japheth." Instead of accepting Noah as the ancestor of modern 


races we substituted for him a " mid-Pleistocene ancestral stock " ; 
in place of drowning all Noah's contemporaries in a universal 
deluge, we supposed that the races of modern man, as they spread 
abroad on the earth, exterminated all other and older races. We 
supposed that all the earlier Pleistocene types of men had been 
destroyed, leaving no issue. Thus after the mid-Pleistocene dis- 
persion the earth became divided among peoples who were 
members of the same species of humanity — Homo sapiens. 

Alas ! our advances in knowledge bring no support for such a 
theory. Many fossil types of humanity have been discovered, 
but not one of them answers to our conception of a common 
ancestor for modern races. No evidence has been found of an 
outward migration from a common centre in mid-Pleistocene 
times. What has been found compels us to recast our ideas 
concerning the origin of human races. It does now seem as if 
the racial territories which were marked out in Essay XXIV are 
of ancient date, that by the beginning of the Pleistocene period the 
ancestors of the Mongol, of the Australian, of the Negro were 
already in occupation of the continental areas where their de- 
scendants are now found. In 1936 this was a new conception, 
for the prevailing belief then was, and indeed still is (1946), that 
early man was an incorrigible wanderer, and passed from continent 
to continent as the mood moved him. 

The thesis I put forward to account for all the facts we now 
have concerning the origin of modern races has the following 
distinctive points : — (1) that their separation is very ancient and is 
traceable back to the beginning of the Pleistocene period ; (2) 
that each of the main racial divisions was evolved in its own con- 
tinental area; (3) that at the date of separation each race was still 
in the " rough " — and that each has undergone similar or 
" parallel " changes independently of each other. These parallel 
changes are represented by a reduction in size and of strength of 
tooth and jaw ; a continuing increase in size and in complexity of 
the brain, the maximum of cerebral development being reached 
by late Pleistocene peoples. There were, too, independent trans- 
mutations of simian markings into those of a human character. 
I see no possibility of explaining the evidence now at our disposal 
unless we admit that " parallel evolution " has beer just as potent 
in the evolution of human races as it certainly has been in the 
evolution of species of horse and of elephant. 


As the evidence which connects the aborigines of Australia 
with Pithecanthropus of early Pleistocene Java is more complete 
than in the case of other races, I shall begin by tracing the origin of 
the peoples of Australasia. At the date just mentioned the Malay 
Peninsula was continued through Sumatra and Java to Timor, an 
arm of the sea about twenty-five miles wide separating the latter 
island from Australia. Australia was then joined to New Guinea, 
Melanesia, and Tasmania. 1 That at some point of the Pleistocene 
period human beings succeeded in reaching Australia by crossing 
that arm of the sea is proved by the discovery of Pleistocene man 
in Australia. In 1943, at Keilor, near Melbourne, a fossil skull 
of Australoid type was found at a depth of 1 8 ft. in a gravel terrace 
which is contemporary with, or even earlier than, the last glacia- 
tion in Europe. 2 The brain was remarkably large, the cranial 
capacity approaching 1,600 c.c. The facial features might well be 
the ancestral type from which those of the aborigines of Australia 
and of Tasmania were derived. At a still earlier date, 1914, the 
Talgai (Queensland) fossil skull came to light ; 3 it, too, was 
Australoid in all its characters, but its palate far exceeded any 
modern aboriginal palate, while its cranial capacity, 1,300 c.c, 
although much below that of the Keilor man, was rather above 
the mean for aborigines. 

In 1896, two years after Dubois had announced the discovery of 
Pithecanthropus, Keane 4 noted that an extinct tribe of Australian 
aborigines " had the enormous superciliary arches and some other 
traits of Pithecanthropus." Hermann Klaatsch (1864-1916), an 
anatomist of great originality of mind, visited Australia in 1904 
to study the anatomy of the natives. In his report 5 occurs the 
following passage : " My recent experiences show so many 
connections between Pithecanthropus and Australian and Tas- 
manian skulls that I am more inclined than before to accept a very 
close approximation of Pithecanthropus to the first tribe of human 
beings." Then, in 1920, Dubois published an account 6 of two 
fossil skulls found at Wadjak in Java ; their characters were pro- 
nouncedly Austcaloid, but their brains were very big, the cranial 
capacity of the larger being 1,650 c.c. ; their palates, too, were of 
great size. In 1932 Dr. Oppenoorth made a discovery which 
served to link Wadjak man to Pithecanthropus. In a terrace of 
the Solo river, of later date than that winch yielded the fossil re- 
mains of Pithecanthropus and only a little way from the original 


site, he unearthed parts of eleven individuals ; six of their skulls 
were sufficiently intact to be measurable. These Solo people had 
trains which varied from 1,035 t0 !i 2 55 c - c -> their mean capacity 
being t.ioo c.c, which is more than 200 c.c. above the mean for 
the Pitbecantbxopians. They still retained the sloping forehead 
and prominent supraorbital ridges of the older type. Between 
1931 and 1941 von Koenigswaid succeeded in adding four more 
Pithecanthropoid skulls to the original discovered by Dubois, 
one of them being the infantile (Modjokerto) skull from a deposit 
of earliest Pleistocene date (see p. 226). 

With such a record of intermediate, hnking forms it is difficult 
to doubt that the individuals of at least one modern race of man- 
kind — the aborigines of Australia — is the evolutionary progeny of 
an early Pleistocene type — namely, that represented by the 
Pithecanthropians of Java. 

But what of the peoples of the other parts of Australasia — 
the natives of Tasmania, of Melanesia, and of New Guinea? All 
these must be regarded as insular peoples who have been isolated 
and inbred since Pleistocene times. The band or bands which 
first settled in those outlying areas carried with them their own 
particular assortment of Australoid genes. Those who went to 
New Guinea were submitted to a climate and a dietary very 
different from those which met the settlers in Tasmania or in 
Melanesia. The interaction of these factors — heredity and en- 
vironment — led to the differentiation of their separate types. 

From Australasia we pass to South Africa to inquire into the 
origin of two other modem races — namely, the Bushman and 
Hottentot. The stone tools of the early Pleistocene South 
Africans we know, but of their makers not a fossil trace has been 
found. The earliest type known is represented by the Rhodesian 
man ; his date is probably towards the end of the mid-Pleistocene 
era, being thus a contemporary of the earlier forms of Neander- 
thal man in Europe. His face was gorilline in its characteriza- 
tion; his supraorbital torus was enormous ; his jaws were large; - 
bis brain of moderate dimensions, had a volume of 1,350 cc., 
about the same as a modern Hottentot. The Rhodesian skull 7 
was discovered in 1921 ; eight years previously a fossil skull was 
found at Boskop in the Transvaal, in circumstances which pointed 
to a date late in the Pleistocene. The skull found" at Boskop 
differed altogether from that found in Rhodesia ; it had a high 


and long vault, and had contained a brain of great size, one with 
a volume of 1,630 c.c, nearly 300 ex. more than fell to the lot of 
Rhodesian man. Excavation of South African caves by Pro- 
fessor Dart 8 brought to light a number of cranial forms which 
linked that of Boskop with those of the Bushman and Hottentot, 
save that the modern repiesentatives of the Boskop type are 
smaller-brained than the original. The last thing I expected to 
happen was the discovery of forms which linked the Rhodesian 
to the big-brained' Boskop type. Yet that is what did happen. 
In 1932 Professor T. F. Dreyer 9 found in the course of the 
systematic exploration of an Upper Pleistocene site at Florisbad, 
at a depth of 20 ft., and accompanied by implements of the 
South-African middle stone industry, the greater part of a human 
skull. The Florisbad skull almost rivalled the Rhodesian in the 
strength of its frontal torus, but in other features agreed with the 
Boskop type. In 1945 another fossil skull 10 with the same mixture 
of Rhodesian and Boskop traits was found at Labomba, on the 
border between Zululand and Swaziland. The accompanying 
stone " industry " was that found with the Florisbad skull. Such, 
then, is the evidence which leads us to the belief that Bushman and 
Hottentot have been evolved in Africa and that both are de- 
scended from a mid-Pleistocene type, such as that preserved for 
us in the Rhodesian skull. 

v In East Africa, to which we now turn, the evidence relating to 
the local evolution of race is less complete than in South Africa. 
Such evidence as we have is owing to the enterprise of Dr. 
L. S. B., Leakey, who has succeeded in placing East Africa on the 
archaeological map' of the world by the sacrifice of his personal 
affairs. 11 It was in 1933 that he found the oldest human frag- 
ment so far discovered in Africa — the chin region of a human 
mandible, very heavily mineralized. It came from the early 
Pleistocene deposits at Kanam on the eastern shore of Lake 
Victoria. This fossil fragment is remarkable for the fact that the 
front teeth, both canines and incisors, do not differ from those of 
modern man. Hence Dr. Leakey believed, and I agree with him, 
that the Kanam mandible was evidence of the early development 
of the modern type of man. Both he and I were then ignorant of 
the fact that spiall incisors and canines were also characteristic of 
the South African Dartian anthropoids. It seems to me now to 
be much more probable that the small front teeth of Kanam man 


indicate a relationship to Dartian anthropoids rather than to any 
type of modern man. As I have mentioned already (p. 239), Dr. 
Leakey found in a mid-Pleistocene formation at Kanjera, which is 
near to Kanam, two skulls which provide the earhest indications of 
Negro features. All the human skulls he recovered from later 
Pleistocene deposits indicate the existence in East Africa of men 
of the Hamitic type. There remains for mention a fossil skull 
which Kohl-Larsen discovered in 1935 in the eastern shore of 
Lake Eyassi, Tanganyika, which Weinert 12 has attributed to a 
kind of man he has named Anthropodus njarasensis. The Eyassi 
skull resembles the Rhodesian in several points ; Dr. Leakey gives 
it a late Pleistocene date. 13 There are still many blanks in the fossil 
records of East Africa, but when these are filled in we may hope to 
have further evidence in support of my thesis that native races 
have been evolved in the continents they now inhabit. 

From Africa we return to Asia to note the evidence relating to 
the evolution of the Mongolian type in Sinasia. There is evidence 
of the existence of man in this region throughout the whole of 
the Pleistocene period, 14 but at only two points in this long stretch 
of time have bones of the actual inhabitants been found — namely, 
at the beginning of the mid-Pleistocene 15 and towards the end of 
the Upper Pleistocene. Both these records have been provided by 
that treasury of fossil remains of man — the hill of Choukoutien in 
North China (see p. 227). From its lower caves have come parts 
of some forty Sinanthrops of the mid-Pleistocene ; from an upper 
cave the remains of a people who may be described as Proto- 
Mongols. 16 The Sinanthrops were an advance upon their con- 
temporaries in Java, the mean volume of their brains being 1,075 
c.c, 200 c.c. more than the Pithecanthropic mean. In outward 
appearance there was nothing Mongolian about the Sinanthrops, 
but in their teeth Weidenreich 17 detected a foreshadowing of 
Mongolian characters, and in this I am in agreement with him. 
Fossil parts of seven individuals were found in the upper cave, 
but only in the case of one man and two women were these com- 
plete enough to supply details. In the man, with a cranial 
capacity of 1,500 c.c, Weidenreich noted Mongolian traits. He 
threw out the suggestion that these upper cave people might well 
represent the stock which gave the New World its earhest 
settlers. Imperfect as tne records from Sinasia are, they support 
the idea that the Mongolian peoples have been evolved in Sinasia. 


Before attempting to unravel the evolution of Caucasian peoples 
there is a preliminary matter I must deal with. Down to a point 
in the last period of glaciation Europe was inhabited by Neander- 
thalians. Then, quite suddenly, some 100,000 years ago, 011 the 
Zeuner scale of time, they were replaced by men of the Caucasian 
type. In the Europe of that remote date a racial transformation of 
the kind which is now being enacted in the continent of Australia 
had taken place ; a more energetic and better equipped race re- 
placed one which was more backward in these respects. The 
racial differences between the Neanderthalian and Caucasian types 
are too great for us to suppose the older and more primitive type 
had been transformed into the newer and more evolved type. 
We must explain the event by supposing that the Caucasian 
invaders had come from a home outside the bounds of Europe 
and exterminated the older race. 

The Caucasian "invaders were broken up into many local 
varieties, the prevailing type being that represented by the Cro- 
Magnons — tall men with long heads and big brains. Then there 
were the small, long-headed people of the Mediterranean type, 
such as still live in the Island of Corsica. There were also the 
heavy-browed Predmostians of Central Europe. 

Where did these early Caucasians come from? What is their 
evolutionary history? These questions remained unanswered 
until 1929-34, when an expedition of American and British 
archasologists, under the leadership of Professor Dorothy 
Garrod, explored the caves of Mount Carmel in Palestine. 18 
From these caves were recovered fossil remains of ten Pleistocene 
Carmelites who were living in Palestine when Europe was still 
inhabited by men of the Neanderthal type. The task of examin- 
ing and describing this people fell on Dr. T. D. McCown and 
myself. 19 We found in them a strange mixture of Neanderthal 
and Cro-Magnon characters. The men were tall, robust, and 
long-headed, big-brained fellows. We concluded that we were 
dealing with a transitional people — one evolving from a Neander- 
thal type towards a Caucasian type — and that, after all, 
Neanderthal man was the ancestor of the proud Caucasian. As 
the evidence now stands it seems to us that at a period earlier than 
that represented by the fossil Carmelites, and farther towards the 
east, a locaKgroup of Neanderthalians a began to evolve in a 
Caucasian direction and that the Carmelites represent a later phase 


of this movement. At least, if all turns out as we anticipate we 
may claim that the Caucasians of S.W. Asia still occupy the 
original area of their evolution. 

One enigma remains: What became of the Piltdown race? 
In mid-Pleistocene deposits, at Swanscombe and in London, 
human skulls have been found which, so far as can be judged from 
their characters, are of the Piltdown, not of the Neanderthal type 20 
— evidence of the continuation of the Piltdown breed in England. 
The diagnostic points of the Piltdown species he in the face, and 
the facial parts are lacking in the Swanscombe and London fossil 
skulls, so that their racial nature remains uncertain. The bones of 
Neanderthal man have not been found as yet in England, but 
remains of his stone culture are plentiful ; we may well expect that 
his fossil bones will turn up some day. This at least is certain — 
the cave men who lived in England in the closing phase of the 
Pleistocene period were of the same breed and had the same stone 
cultures as their contemporaries on the Continent, and therefore 
were the Caucasian descendants of Neanderthal man. So were 
the invaders who came to Britain in post-glacial times. The 
sum of the evidence is, then, that the Piltdown breed in England 
was completely replaced by continental Caucasians. 

Must we conclude, then, that human races which seemed so 
unlike — so far apart — at the beginning of the Pleistocene period 
converged or approached one another in characterization as time 
went on, so that ultimately the progeny of races, originally di- 
verse, became moulded into what is spoken of as the " modern 
type " ? That, I think, is the conclusion to which we must come. 
The idea of the evolutionary convergence of human races is not 
new; it was thrown out as a surmise in 1864 by the Swiss anthro- 
pologist, Carl Vogt. 21 Darwin considered the suggestion 22 
and thought it was " possible," but not " probable." Yet that is 
what does seem to have taken place in the evolution of human 
races during the Pleistocene period; human races were more 
alike at the end of that period than they were at the beginning of 
it. Let me mention some of these " converging " structural 
changes — changes which were effected independently in each of 
the chief races of mankind. In all of them the brain underwent 
enlargement ; and the jaws and teeth a reduction — two changes 
which were probably correlated. The chin was modelled inde- 
pendently, so was the forehead, so was the mastoid process. The 


sharp sill of bone which is to be seen at the entrance to the nasal 
chamber in so many modern Europeans is also met with in the 
skulls of some ancient Neanderthalians. All races of mankind 
seem to have inherited an evolutionary " trend " common to 
every one of them. 

As a postscript to this essay let me dwell for a moment on the 
nemesis which overtook my faith in the antiquity of the " modern 
type " of man. My first book on fossil man, entitled Ancient 
Types of Man, published in 191 1 , was written to vindicate the claims 
of modern man to a high antiquity — claims which were rejected 
out of hand by the leading authorities of that time. The test case 
was that of " Galley Hill Man " ; his remains were found in 
i888-at a depth of 8 ft. in the 100-ft. terrace of the Thames 
valley; the geological evidence gave him a high antiquity, but, 
carrying all the modern marks I have just specified, he was placed 
by the leaders of opinion on the list of rejects. The fossil remains 
of Piltdown man were found at a depth of only 3 ft., but were 
immediately accepted because they carried primitive marks and 
were devoid of the modern ones. This mode of discrimination 
seemed to me unscientific ; I clung to the geological evidence at 
Galley Hill, but the tide of discovery went dead against me. Even 
in 1926, when I brought out a new edition of The Antiquity of Man, 
I was still a defender of the antiquity of Galley Hill man and of his 
many compeers, but a change had overtaken me by 193 1, for in a 
work published in that year I wrote : " Each great region of the 
world has produced and shelters its own native type." 23 By 
1936 the evidence I have touched on in this and preceding essays 
convinced me that it was easier to believe that there was a flaw in 
the geological evidence of the antiquity of Galley Hill man than 
that a race or type of mankind could continue for 100,000 years 
without undergoing evolutionary change. And so I have had to 
abandon the claims of the " modern type of man " to a high 
antiquity, the very thesis which I set out to prove so long ago. 


1 Cheeseman, L. E., Nature, 1943, vol. 152, p. 41. 

2 Mahony, D. J., " The Problem of Antiquity of Man in Australia," Mem. 
Nat. Mus. Melbourne, 1943, No. 12; Wunderly, J., "The Kedor Skull," ibid. 

3 For an aaebunt of the Talgai Skull, see Ke^h's Antiquity of Man, 1925, 
p. 449. 

4 Keane, A. H., Ethnology, 1896, p. 238. 


5 Klaatsch, Hermann (1864-1916), Reports from the Lunar y Dept. N.S.W., 
1908, vol. 1, p. 163. 

6 For an account of the Wadjak skulls, see under reference 3, p. 438. 

7 For an account of the Rhodesian skull see under reference 3, p. 407. 

8 Dart, Raymond, " Fossil Man and Contemporary Faunas in South Africa," 
Report of the Sixteenth International Geological Congress, Washington, 1936. 
For an account of Boskop and Bushman fossd skulls, see under reference 3, 
P- 356. 

9 Dreyer, T. F., " A Human Skull from Florisbad," Proc. Konin. Akal 
Wetensch. Amsterdam, 1935, vol. 38, p. 119; see also Drennan, Trans. Roy. Soc. 
S.A., 1937, vol. 25, p. 105 ; Galloway, Alex., Ainer. Jour. Phys. Anthrop., 1937, 
vol. 23, p. 1 ; Keith, Sir A., Nature, 1938, vol. 141, p. 1010. 

10 Cooke, Malan, and Wells, " The Labomba Skull," Man, 1945. P- 6. 

11 Leakey, L. S. B., " The Stone-Age Cultures of Kenya Colony," Man, 
1933, no. 66. 

12 Weinart, Hans, Enstehung der Menschenrassen, 1938; Dcr Biologie, 193 S, 
vol. 7, p. 125. 

13 Leakey, L. S. B., Nature, 1936, vol. 138, p. 1082. 

14 Pei wen-Chung, Occasional Papers from the Institute of Archceology, 1939, 
No. 2 ; de Chardin Teilhard, Nature, 1939, vol. 144, p. 1054. 

1 15 The deposits which yielded Pithecanthropus in Java, and those in China 
which contained Sinanthropus, were formerly regarded as of oldest Pleistocene 
date, but are now assigned to the middle Pleistocene. See von Koenigswald, 
Early Man, 1937, p. 24; also Weidenreich, F., Anthropological Papers of the 
Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist., 1945, 40, pt. 1. 

16 Weidenreich, F., Peking Nat. Hist. Bull., 1939, vol. 13, p. 161. 

17 Weidenreich, F., Palceontologia Sinica, 1937, no. 101 ; ibid., 1943, no 127. 

18 Garrod, Professor Dorothy, The Stone Age of Mount Carmel, 1939, vol. 1 

19 McCown and Keith, The Stone Age of Mount Carmel, 1939, vol. 2 (Fossil 

20 For an account of the anatomical characters of the Swanscombe skull see 
Keith, Jour. Anat., 1939, vol. 73, pp. 155, 234. For the London skull see Keith's 
New Discoveries, 1931, p. 435. 

21 Vogt, C, Lectures on Man, 1864, p. 568. 

22 Darwin, C, The Descent of Man, Murray, 1913, p. 274. 

23 Keith, Sir A., New Discoveries relating to the Antiquity of Man, 1931, p. 30. 

essay xxvn 


Synopsis. — Primal and post-primal periods again defined. The post- 
primal period brought changes which altered the rate and mode oj human 
evolution. There ivas a progressive increase in the size of the " evolu- 
tionary unit" ; ultimately national units replaced local groups. The 
mode of increase illustrated. It is estimated that the population of the 
whole world in mid-Pleistocene times was less than the present popula- 
tion of Scotland. The slow spread of the practice of agriculture. Its 
effects on the population of Africa. The introduction of pastoralism ; 
its effects on population; attended hy certain advantages. The evolu- 
tionary advantages of small units. Man attained his full status under 
the conditions which prevailed in the primal period. Large units are 
unsuited for the production of definite evolutionary changes. Under the 
conditions of the post-primal period mankind was subjected to new 
agencies of selection. Qualities which were favoured and selected. 
Fertility was given a fresh impetus. Agriculture brought in slavery 
which is anti-evolutionary in its effects. There is a human factor 
determining the rate oj increase in an agricultural community. Before 
the end of the primal period tribal units had been evolved. 

Readers may recall that in Essay III I divided man's evolutionary 
history into two very unequal phases — the primal and the post- 
primal. The primal phase covers the whole of the Pleistocene 
period, which, on the accepted scheme of reckoning, is given a 
duration of a million years, whereas the post-primal phase, in 
which we now are, began only about 9,000 or, perhaps, 10,000 
years ago. In the first or primal phase man was the slave of un- 
tamed Nature ; for a livelihood he was dependent on the natural 
produce of the territory on which he lived ; he was hunter and 
food-gathere£. In the second or post^rimal phase the food- 
gatherer turned peasant and the hunter became pastoralist ; man 



discovered how to tame Nature, and thus became a food pro- 
ducer, and with this discovery was ushered in the evolutionary 
world in which he now finds himself. 

To turn a primal native into a toning peasant seems a small 
matter, yet it was this change, beginning in a limited centre and 
spreading slowly from that centre to the ends of the earth, which 
transformed the conditions under which humanity lived and 
altered radically the means by which its evolutionary change is 
effected. In this essay and in those which follow I propose to 
examine the nature of the changes which the discovery of agricul- 
ture effected in the social life of mankind. The chief change, the 
one on which I shall lay the greatest stress, concerns the size of the 
" evolutionary unit." In the primal world the evolutionary unit 
is represented by the local group — a company of some fifty to 
sixty men, women, and children, held together, and at the same 
time separated from other surrounding groups, by that complexity 
of mental partialities which we shall speak of as " clannishness." 
With cultivation, food became more abundant; local groups 
increased in size and in number; competition and strife be- 
tween neighbouring groups ensued, with the result that larger 
combinations were formed ; several groups became fused to form 
one body. When fusion had reached that point where all the 
groups involved had lost their spirit of separatism and become 
sharers of the same clannish feeling, then a new size of evolution- 
ary unit had come into existence, to which the name tribe is 
given. Local group and tribe are dominated by the same 
mentality ; they differ in size and in fighting strength or power. 
Tribes are subject to the same evolutionary conditions as were the 
local groups — those of competition and combat, ending in local 
tribal fusions. When tribes, caught up in such new combinations, 
have lived together for a sufficient number of generations — some 
ten or twelve at least — they become conscious not only of a 
common fellowship, but also that their fellow-feeling separates 
them from all surrounding peoples. When this stage of con- 
sciousness has been reached, then a new evolutionary unit has ' 
come into being — the unit which we recognize as a nation. The 
same spirit of clannishness which animated and dominated the 
local group and the tribe also takes possession of the nation. My 
aim, then, will be to prove that the chief difference between the 
primal and the post-primal phases of human evolution concerns 


the size of the evolutionary or social unit. We shall also have to 
inquire how far the machinery of evolution was thrown out of 
gear by the rise of the monstrous national units of modern times. 

To illustrate the effects produced by the discovery of agriculture 
on the size of a social group, let us take a tribal territory in which 
the inhabitants are entirely dependent on its natural produce. 
Let us suppose that this territory measures 20 X 20 miles, thus 
containing 400 square miles. If the land is fertile and the winter 
mild, our territory cannot support from its natural produce more 
than 400 inhabitants — that is, one for each square mile. This is 
Professor Kroeber's 1 estimate, based on what is known of living 
primal peoples, and it is one with which I agree. Let us now 
imagine that our picked primal territory has been ploughed and 
sown out in wheat : what population could it support with ease? 
For European countries economists 2 usually allow two acres of 
wheat for each head of population, and, as there are 640 acres to 
each square mile, this implies that each square mile, instead of sup- 
porting merely one primal man, is now capable of nourishing 320 
modern men. The tribal territory which in primal times could 
support no more than 400 souls, after the introduction of tillage 
became capable of carrying a population of 128,000. The primal 
tribesmen were divided into local groups, 3 each group leading a 
nomadic life within its allotted area, whereas the modern inhabi- 
tants have no need to roam, but can remain in fixed abodes — 
towns, villages, and farms. Such, then, expressed in somewhat 
crude terms, are some of the changes which took place in the world 
of humanity when man passed from the primal to the post-primal 
phase of his evolution. 

The picture I have just drawn of a tribal territory gives a too 
favourable impression of the density of population and of the 
fertility of the soil in ancient times. The Wonnarua, an extinct 
tribe of New South Wales, 4 for example, although it numbered 
only 500 members, yet occupied a fertile territory of 2,000 square 
miles along the Hunter river, having thus four square miles for 
each head of population. In estimating the population of the 
primal world one has to remember that very large areas were 
covered by jungle and forest and were, from the point of view of 
primal man, inhospitable and almost uninhabitable areas. Obser- 
vations macfe' by Dr. W. B. Hinsdale 5 lei him to conclude that 
the thickly forested lands surrounding the central lakes of the 


United States never carried a native population of more than 
one inhabitant to every thirty square miles of territory. In any 
attempt to estimate the total population of the earth in mid- 
Pleistocene times a higher allowance than one head for each ten 
square miles of habitable territory should not be made. If we 
take the total of habitable land on the earth as forty-two million 
square miles, and allow ten of them for each head of population, 
then the total population of the world in mid-Pleistocene times 
was about 4-2 millions — a total which is less than the present 
population of Scotland. The 4.2 millions of Pleistocene times 
has now (1946) become 2,000 millions, and it has been estimated 6 
that this number could be increased to 132,000 millions if all 
lands were properly cultivated. I must own that for me the 
possibility holds in it more of a nightmare than of a happy dreami 
One would expect that agriculture — a discovery so beneficent 
in its effects — would have spread with hurried feet across the earth. 
This was not the case: the division of the population into a 
myriad of small isolated self-sufficient communities greatly 
hindered the rate of extension. We shall see presently that before 
the fifth millennium B.C. had begun, people in the south-west 
region of Asia were tilling the land and keeping cattle ; it took 
over 2,000 years for these practices to reach the peoples of Western 
Europe. Grain was sown and reaped at a very early date in 
Egypt, 7 and, although the Egyptians were linked with the tribes 
of tropical Africa by a continuous series of communities extending 
along the valley of the Nile, the new mode of gaining an existence 
seems to have spread very slowly southwards to the tribes in the 
interior, and to have been adopted by them with much less zeal 
than was the case in Europe. Even to-day Africa, taken as a 
whole, has an estimated population which gives only ten people 
for each square mile of territory: Northern Rhodesia, for 
example, 3 -2 individuals for each square mile ; Southern Rhodesia, 8 
5.1; Kenya, 10; Uganda, 30; Nyasaland, which has an all-over 
average of 34-6, yet in certain areas falls as low as 10, and in others 
rises as high as 200 inhabitants for each square mile. Nigeria has 
a mean of 60 per square mile, but in south Nigeria Miss Green 9 
found village communities cultivating their tribal land so success- 
fully that it was able to support 450 to the square mile. From 
which it will be seen that the tribal peoples of Africa have ex- 
ploited the life-sustaining potentialities of their territories to only 


a limited extent. It is also worthy of remark that in the whole of 
this great continent in Egypt alone has tribal synthesis reached the 
degree that gives the people of that land the status of a nation. 

The primitive peasant usually augmented his income from the 
soil by keeping domesticated animals. There were, however, 
certain primitive tribes who found it more agreeable to their 
nature to depend on flocks and herds for their entire sustenance. 
Pastoral peoples require a much more extensive territory for their 
maintenance than those who live by tilling the soil. A Tartar 
family had an allowance of three square miles ; the pastoral lands 
of East Africa carried three members of the Masai tribe to each 
square mile : the highest estimate 1 have come across gives seven 
souls per square mile. Pastoralism, if a pleasant, was an extra- 
vagant mode of life : a square mile which could be made to support 
over 300 agriculturalists could at the utmost carry only seven 
pastoralists. If pastoralism failed to give man-power, it could 
claim certain advantages. It was a mode of life suited to the 
nature of primal man; the primitive hunter took kindly to 
the tending of herds. Another advantage was mobility; the 
pastoral tribe had to move every season from its " home " or 
winter territory in the south to the summer feeding-grounds of the 
north ; the tribe had to be organized for movement as well as for 
defence. Agriculture tended to favour and to select men of a 
pacific nature, whereas pastoralism bred warlike qualities. 
Hence pastoral tribes, in spite of their weakness in man-power, 
have always been a standing menace to settled agricultural 

In the preceding paragraphs I have been seeking to make clear 
the nature of the changes which came into our world with the 
discovery of agriculture and the domestication of animals. No 
doubt the post-primal world is a pleasanter place for man to live 
in than the primal world, which was his home for a million 
years. Yet if we are to measure things as a student of evolution 
should measure them, we must admit that the primal world had 
a high degree of evolutionary effectiveness. We find man 
entering that period, upright in body to be sure, but low-browed 
and meanly brained ; before the end of that period, 50,000 years 
or more before the dawn of modern or post-primal age, he had 
come by h& full complement of brain j and by all his modern 
features of face and of body. The machinery which fashions 


human evolution has been demonstrably effective. All my 
essays which precede the present one have been devoted to an 
exposition of that machinery. Among the cogs or parts of the 
machinery, I count, as the most important, the division of primal 
humanity into an exceedingly great number of small isolated 
groups or units — " parish races," as Bagehot aptly named them. 
Between these " parish races " there was a spirit of rivalry and of 
competition, quiescent for long periods, no doubt, but neverthe- 
less relentless and undying. The groups which could not 
withstand the competition became broken, and disappeared; 
evolutionary results were speedy and definite. As I have sought 
to prove, " human nature " had become so constituted as to 
maintain the isolation and competition of these primal groups. 
It was this condition of affairs which Herbert Spencer had in mind 
when he spoke of " the automatic and merciless discipline of the 
primal world." 10 Here Spencer overlooked the fact that mercy 
as well as cruelty prevailed in the primal world. Within each 
group there was a core of co-operation, mutual sympathy, and 
responsive mercy. It was the spirit of rivalry, competition, and 
antipathy which prevailed between groups that made life in the 
primal world merciless. 

As I have said, the division of mankind during the long primal 
period into a myriad of small, competing groups is the basal part 
of my theory of human evolution ; it is possible that readers may 
feel that it is just on this head that my evidence is least convincing. 
, Let me cite Professor Gordon Childe as a witness ; he is an author- 
ity on all that pertains to the ways of ancient man. In 1942 he 
penned the following passage : — 

"A small horde of lower or middle palaeolithic hunters 
would require an enormous territory to support them. . . . 
Each little group would thus be isolated and virtually con- 
demned to endogamy, and so to inbreeding, which would 
tend to conserve archaic traits and to prevent that mixing of 
genes that seems favourable to mutations." u 

On the other hand, I am of opinion that the rapid evolu- 
tionary progress of the primal period was due to the fact that 
" mixing of genes " was then the exception and not the rule. 
Professor Childe also finds from archaeological evidence 12 that 
the isolation between groups continued for some time after man 


had entered die Neolithic Age, that age marking the first stage of 
man's post-primal world. Although David Hume (171 1-76) 
lived in pre-Darwinian times, he had, as the following passage 13 
will show, a clear idea that mankind was divided into small units 
in the ancient world : " Almost all the nations, which are the 
scene of early history, were divided into small territories or petty 
commonwealths. . . . And it must be owned that no institution 
could be more favourable to the propagation of mankind." 
Hume was here thinking of the advancement of learning rather 
than of the progress of the race, yet what is true of learning is also 
true of race ; it is the small unit or nation that produces things 
which have distinctive qualities. The evidence of Gumplowitz 
(1838-1909), who lived and wrote in the Darwinian Age, helps 
to confirm my thesis. " Agglomeration," he wrote, " began 
in the strife of innumerable petty units." u One other matter I 
may allude to here. I was under the impression that my division 
of man's evolutionary history into primal and post-primal was 
new. I now find that Kant (1724-1804) had made a similar 
division. What he named the " epoch of natural development " 
I have called the " primal period," and what he named the " epoch 
of civil development " I have designated as the " post-primal 
period." 15 

I am discussing the changes which took place in the process of 
evolution when mankind entered the post-primal, or modern, 
period. Perhaps the most important change next to increases in 
the size of units relates to new modes of " natural selection " to 
which human communities then became subject. A primal com- 
munity, dependent on the natural produce of its territory, led an 
arduous and precarious life, but it was free from the biblical curse, 
" In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread till thou return unto 
the ground." To primal man manual labour was repugnant; 
scores of instances could be cited to prove that pastoral and hunting 
tribes preferred to reject existence itself rather than submit to the 
laborious discipline imposed by a life of agriculture. In the early 
days of the modern period a group or a tribe with even a small 
proportion of members willing to use spade or hoe had a surer 
grip of life than the group or tribe which was constitutionally 
work-shy. As time went on the selection and increase of com- 
munities tolferant of labour must have become more and more 
intense, and the elimination of work-shy peoples more drastic. 


And yet I cannot claim that we of Western Europe, after 4,000 
years of this selective process, have become true lovers of manual 
labour. Indeed, rich men seek relaxation by resuming the life of 
primal man. 

Another quality which has been subject to selection in the 
modern period is that of prudence and foresight. Primal man 
was not altogether improvident; wild seeds and roots were 
stored by some of the aborigines of Australia and Tasmania and 
by the "digger Indians" of California ; 16 the Eskimo placed 
food in " cold storage." Notwithstanding these instances, it may 
be truly said that the prevailing philosophy of primal man was 
" sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." It requires a new 
philosophy to dig and sow that one may eat some three or. four 
months later. The tribe which had sufficient imagination to 
learn and to adopt this philosophy stood at an advantage over 
those which were unable to accept and practice it. 

I do not think that intellectual qualities were more strenuously 
selected in the post-primal world than in the primal one. The 
group or tribe which included in its number a hunter capable of 
evolving a new plan for catching game, or of inventing an im- 
proved form of trap, or of devising a more effective form of 
weapon, stood at an advantage over other groups. The same 
faculty served post-primal man in solving the problems which his 
new form of life brought him up against. Nor do I think that 
modern man has gained aught over primal man in the strength of 
his social habits, nor in the keenness of his sympathy for fellow- 
members of his community. Throughout the long primal 
period the groups which felt and acted in concert were the winning 
groups. Modern man has inherited the unchanged emotional 
nature of primal man ; he has the same store of predispositions 
and prejudices. " To be born under the law," wrote Bagehot, 
" blinds us to prehistoric conditions " ; 17 it is even more true to 
say that to be born in the modern period blinds us to the amount 
we owe to the discipline and selection to which our ancestors 
were subjected in the prolonged primal period. 

Another major change which attended the emergence of 
humanity from primal to post-primal conditions was this : human 
lives became of economical advantage. In primal times a tribe 
lived up to the limits of the natural produce of its territory. By 
infanticide and other means a primal tribe sought to keep within 


this limit by maintaining stability of numbers. 18 With the 
coming of agriculture this ceased to be necessary; additional 
children still meant additional mouths to feed, but then there were 
additional hands to wield the hoe and spade, and also, when 
necessary, to wield weapons of defence. Additional lives thus 
became advantageous to the tribe. This economic revolution 
was attended by one disastrous result, due to man's natural aver- 
sion to manual labour. Slave labour was of no advantage in 
primal times ; it was then a full day's work for a man to feed him- 
self. It was otherwise in post-primal times; a war captive, 
reduced to slavery, could produce enough for others as well as for 
himself. Hence came the introduction of slavery. Now, as I 
have already pointed out, 19 when a tribe adopts the practice of 
slavery, its evolutionary machinery becomes clogged. A tribe 
with one part free and another enslaved is no longer a single unit 
with a common spirit and a common destiny ; it is then a two- 
fold body with a twofold morality, and a doubtful destiny. In 
due time agriculture became the mother of wealth and of capital; 
it was capital that turned the local evolutionary units of primal 
days into the multi-millioned national units of modern times. 
We may say, then, that capital has clogged the evolutionary 
wheels which were so effective in primal times. 

The numbers which a land can be made to support by cultiva- 
tion depend on many circumstances — on soil, rainfall, climate, 
and kind of crop. It has been said, for example, that an acre 
planted with bananas will afford steady sustenance for fifty 
natives. A human factor is also involved. For instance, the 
natives of New Guinea live in village communities and support 
themselves by clearing areas in the surrounding bush, wherein 
they grow yams, taro, bananas, sugar-cane, beans, and other 
garden produce. There are large tracts of unused bush; the 
number of communities could be multiplied twenty times and 
still leave room to spare, but the natives prefer to retain their 
present restricted birth-rates. One may truly say that the natives 
of New Guinea lack the ambition to develop the potentialities of 
their great island. This is what I mean by the human factor. 

There is one other matter I must deal with before bringing this 
essay to an end ; it relates to the size which evolutionary units had 
attained before the end of the primal period. Our estimates are 
necessarily based on observations made on primal peoples who 


have survived into modern times. I quote from data compiled 
by Professor L. Krzywicki. 20 Among the Fuegians the number of 
men, women, and children which made up a local group (evolu- 
tionary unit) varied from twenty to forty; among the extinct 
Tasmanians the group never included more than thirty ; among 
the aborigines of Australia units differed very greatly in size ; 
there were isolated self-contained units of forty or fifty individuals, 
and others of 200 or 250 members ; the Arunta tribe of Central 
Australia included at one time as many as 2,000 individuals. 
That number was made up of a large number of confederated 
local groups, which assembled in one place only on special 
occasions. After a corroboree held by another large tribe as 
many as 155 fireplaces were counted, indicating an assembly of 
1,000 people. Some of these were known to have come from a 
distance of 300 miles. 21 We may infer that similar tribal con- 
federations had taken place in Europe before the end of the 
Pleistocene period. This is supported by observations made on 
the camps occupied by the mammoth-hunters of Moravia. One^ 
camp near Predmost covers over 1,000 acres; 22 another 
camp at Solutre in central France, frequented by men who hunted 
the wild horse, extends over two acres. 23 These camps, I infer, 
correspond to the corroboree sites of Australia and indicate 
meeting-places of confederated local groups. Thus a tribal 
status had been evolved in Europe before the end of the primal 


1 Kroeber, A. L., Anthropology, 1923, p. 414. 

2 Russell, Sir John, Nature, April 30, 1927; Carr-Saunders, Sir A. M., 
Population, 1925. 

3 Krzywicki, L., Primitive Society and its vital Data, 1935, p. 5. 

4 Ibid., p. 306. 

5 Hinsdale, W. B., see reference 19, Essay XXII. 

8 Knibbs, Sir G., The Shadow of the World's Future, 1928. 

7 Caton-Thompson, G., The Desert Fayum, 1935; Childe, V. Gordon, 
New Light on the Most Ancient East, 1934. 

8 Dixey, F., Nature, 1928, vol. 122, p. 586. 

9 Green, Miss M. M., Land Tenure in an Ibo Village, 1941, 
10 Spencer, H., Principles of Sociology, vol. 2, p. 231. 

Childe, V. Gordon, Man, 1942, p. 99. 

12 ChiJdc, V. Gordon, The Dawn of European Civilization,\ t -ind ed., 1939, 
p. 285. 

13 Hume, David, Essays and Treatises, 1772, vol. 2, p. 411. 


14 Gumplowkz, L., Sociolvgie et Politique, Paris, 1898, p. 43. 

15 Hartmann, E. von, Philosophy of the Unconscious, trans., 9th ed., London, 
1884, vol. 3, p. 32. 

10 Campbell, Harry, Lancet, 1905, (2), pp. 781-1667. 

17 Bagehot, W., Physics and Politics, 1896, p. 20. 

18 Krzywicki, L., see reference 3, p. 175. 

19 Keith, Sir A., Essays on Human Evolution, 1946, p. 33. 

20 Krzywicki, L., see reference 3, p. 5. 

21 Ibid., p. 306. 

22 Keith, Sir A., New Discoveries, 1931, p. 371. 

23 Keith, Sir A., Tke Antiquity of Man, 1925, vol. I, p. 89. 

ESSAY xxvin 


Synopsis. — The theme to be discussed is outlined. Evidence of the 
early practice of agriculture in Egypt and in Palestine. The claims of 
the Iranian plateau to he considered the cradle of agriculture. Culti- 
vated wheats and domesticated animals occur there in a wild state. . The 
inhabitants of the plateau were members of the Caucasian family. 
Villages afford evidence of agriculture. The history of villages is 
preserved in mounds or Tells. Evidence from the excavation of Tell 
Halaf, Nineveh, Arpachiya, and Gawra. Evidence from ancient 
village sites on the plateau, at Tepe Giyan and at Tepe Siyalk. From 
the mound at Persepolis. The author seeks to trace village communities 
of post-primal times back to local groups of the primal period. The 
village replaces the local group as an evolutionary unit. The author 
attributes the discovery of agriculture to a local group and outlines a 
probable mode of discovery. Evidence that the early Iranian villagers 
were of a pacific nature. Strife developed as the period of town-building 
ivas reached. 

The thesis I am to put forward in this essay is made up of the 
following parts : (i) that tillage of the soil and the domestication . 
of animals were first practised, somewhere in the uplands between 
Anatolia in the west and India in the east, most likely on that 
part of the plateau which is now included in the kingdom of Iran 
or Persia ; (2) these arts were discovered and put into practice by 
local communities belonging to the Caucasian division of human- 
ity ; (3) village settlements are traceable back to the sixth millen- 
nium in Iran, but as the villagers of that early date had already 
reached a high point in the development of their arts it now seems 
probable we shall have to go back to the eighth millennium to 
find their beginnings. Underlying my thesis is the assumption 
that the existence of viPage communities in a land, bttit ancient or 
modern, is a sure sign that the people of that land have entered 



the post-primal phase of human evolution dealt with in the 
preceding essay. 

Before entering on my main theme there are two preliminary 
matters I want to dispose of. In 1930, while searching for evi- 
dence to link cave life to that of settlement on the land, 1 1 came to 
the conclusion that a wide interval of time separated the latest 
cave dwellers of Palestine — the Natufians 2 — from the earliest 
grain growers of Lower Egypt. Grain was sown , reaped, and 
stored in the Fayum 3 and in the western delta of the Nile 4 in the 
latter part of the sixth millennium B.C. I was then of opinion 
that the Natufians, who sheltered in the caves of the western slopes 
of Mt. Carmcl and in other caves of Palestine, had preceded the 
grain-growers of Egypt by several thousand years. The Natu- 
fians, a people of Mediterranean stock, knew nothing of pottery ; 
their implements and weapons were shaped out of stone and bone. 
But they armed shafts of bone with flint blades, and used them as 
sickles to reap wild grain, as it was then thought, but seeing they 
had stone querns, mortars, and pestles, it becomes now probable 
that they grew the grain they reaped. 5 And seeing that the 
Natufians ornamented the handles of their sickles in a manner 
very similar to that of the villagers who lived in Iran towards the 
end of the sixth millemiium, it now seems possible that the 
Natufians may have been contemporary with the early grain- 
growers of Eygpt. 6 

Turning to the claims of S.W. Asia as the cradle not only of 
agriculture, but also of the ways of civilized man, one first notes the 
vastness of the area with which we are concerned. Its combined 
lands are about equal in size to half of Europe : Iran alone is twelve 
times the size of England. To travel from ancient Troy in the 
west to the buried cities of India in the east involves a journey of 
2,500 miles; it is also a wide territory extending from the 
Caspian Sea in the north to the Arabian Sea in the south. It is 
the land which 1 the Persians conquered in the sixth century 
B.C., and which the Greeks under Alexander invaded in the 
fourth century. Much of it is now desert or arid steppe, 
but in the closing phases of the Ice Age most of it was rolling 
grassland, well watered, and providing, in the words of Professor 
Haddon, 7 " a very desirable land and well fitted for human 
habitation^ More to the point is th? fact that all forms of 
wheat, which man has succeeded in cultivating and improving, 



grew here in their wild and native state. The animals which he 
domesticated — the sheep, ox, horse, and pig — were constituents of 
the wild fauna. Most of our fruit trees and garden vegetables 
had their original home in this great Iranian Garden of Eden. No 
other part of the earth can make such claims as these. 

As to the racial characters of the peoples who inhabited the 
Iranian plateau in the closing phases of the Ice Age, one has to 
depend on inference, for their fossil remains are so far unknown. 
In Essay XXVI I have given my reasons for inferring that S.W. 
Asia was the region where men of the Neanderthal type became 
transformed into the Caucasian type, and that, towards the end of 
the Pleistocene period, this transformed type spread westwards to 
occupy Europe and Africa north of the Sahara. The population 
of the plateau in the closing phases of the Ice Age would thus 
represent the stock from which the early emigrants to Europe and 
to Africa emerged. Our actual records begin at the close of the 
fourth millennium B.C. In the arid steppe country which extends 
into Iran beyond the south-east corner of the Caspian Sea there 
is a mound, Tepe Hissar, which held the entombed history of a 
local people who settled there about the middle of the fourth 
millennium B.C. and lived a continued existence for well over 
2,000 years. 9 They buried their dead under their dwellings ; of 
the several hundred graves found, 184 yielded skulls sufficiently 
intact for examination. My friend Dr. W. M. Krogman 10 has 
reported on the kind of people represented by the skeletons from 
Tepe Hissar. He found them to be true Caucasians. The pre- 
vailing type had features of skull we find in Mediterranean 
peoples; others, forming a smaller proportion, had those char- 
acters which are found most frequently in the inhabitants of 
Northern Europe. They were a people of rather low stature, 
the average height of the men being 5 ft. 5-5 ins. (1,662 mm.), 
that of the women, 5 ft. 2 ins. (1,580 mm.). They were people 
with long and narrow heads of good size, quite equal in this 
respect to modern Europeans; their facial features were those 
met with in Europeans. The nose was prominent and relatively 
narrow. Herzfeld u speaks of these early inhabitants of the 
Iranian plateau as " Caspians " — a convenient name. The 
Caspian type still abounds on the plateau ; one finds it among the 
Kurdish tribes, among the Tajiks of Persia, and among tf~ Afghans. 
The special Persian type, with prominent hooked nose and long and 


narrow head, recently described by Dr. Henry Field, 12 occurred 
also among the ancient Caspians. We shall find that the native 
Caucasians of S.W. Asia are distinguished by the form of nose 
rather than by shape of head. 

All over the Caucasian region of Asia, from the site of Troy in 
the west to the buried cities of the Indus valley in the cast, there 
occur mounds or " Tells," which, when excavated, yield the 
history of villages and towns of past ages. It is the arch Ecological 
history of these -village sites which is to give a clue to the antiquity 
of agriculture, for it was agriculture which made village life 
possible. The mound at Troy for example, was made up of seven 
superimposed towns ; the oldest, covering about two acres, began 
about the end of the fourth millennium B.C., the last, covering 
about four acres, was sacked by the Homerian Greeks at the 
beginning of the twelfth century B.C. Thus Troy was a site of 
human habitation for about two thousand years. From Troy wc 
move eastwards to inland Syria to the upper waters of the Kabur, 
a tributary of the Euphrates. Here, on the banks of the Kabur, 
is a mound — Tell Halaf — much older and more extensive than 
that of Troy; it covers an area of about twenty-five acres. In 
the basal and oldest settlement of Tell Halaf Baron von Oppeu- 
heim 13 found the remains of town-dwellers who made and used a 
distinctive form of painted pottery, and had a culture marked by 
several peculiar traits. It is now generally agreed that the Hala- 
fian culture must be assigned to an early date in the fifth millennium 
B.C., and, as it was widely spread in the Ancient East, its occurrence 
at any particular site provides archaeologists with a clue to the 
date of the strata they expose. For instance, the Halaf culture 
appears in the foundations of Nineveh, which is in the valley of 
the upper Tigris, 120 miles to the east of Tell Halaf. Yet at 
Nineveh the Halafian is the third cultural stratum above the virgin 
soil ; Mallowan 14 had to dig through ninety feet of city deposits 
to reach the virgin soil. There he found remnants of the mud- 
walled Neolithic village from which < the city of Nineveh had 
sprung. If we assign the Halafian culture to an early date in the 
fifth millennium, then we must give the Neolithic beginnings of 
Nineveh a date well within the sixth millennium. 

On the plain, near the ruins of Nineveh, is a mound, thirty-four 
feet high^^known as Tell Arpachiya. This was also excavated 
under the direction of Mallowan. 16 He found in it the foundations 


of ten superimposed villages. The earliest villagers were ex- 
ponents of the Halafian culture ; the later were of another culture 
— the al' Ubaidian — which prevailed in Mesopotamia in the latter 
part of the fifth millennium. Thus village life in Arpachiya began 
about 5000 B.C., and lasted for about 1,000 years, when the site was 
abandoned. Mallowan was struck by the architectural resem- 
blance of the Arpachiyan villages to those built by the modern 
inhabitants of Iraq. Some fourteen miles to the north-east of the 
village site just described, at the foothills on the frontiers of Persia, 
there is a famous mound known as Tepe Gawra. It was excavated 
by Dr. E. A. Speiser, who issued his report in 193 7. 16 He found 
that in the seventy-seven feet of deposits twenty cultural horizons 
were preserved. The horizon or stratum which marked the 
Halafian period came in the fifth stratum above the virgin soil. 
The first or oldest stratum contained the foundations of several 
village communities, out of which the township or city-State of 
Gawra had developed. What age, then, are we to give to these 
ancient peasant communities? Seeing that three strata, each 
representing a cultural period, are interposed between them and 
the overlying Halafian stratum, we must assign them to about 
the middle of the sixth millennium B.C., or even towards its 

From Gawra to Nihavend, on the western end of the Iranian 
plateau, involves a journey of 240 miles. Near Nihavend is Tepe 
Giyan, excavated in 193 1-2 by an expedition from France. 17 It 
was found that the two deepest strata were formed when the site 
was occupied by villagers of the " buff-ware culture," a culture 
which is widely spread in the ancient sites of the Western plateau, 
and served archaeologists as a time-marker. The two deepest 
strata at Tepe Giyan are pre-Halafian, 18 for it is in the stratum 
overlying these two that Halafian influences become evident. 
Leaving Tape Giyan the French expedition moved eastwards for 
a distance of 200 miles to explore a still older mound — that of 
Tepe Siyalk. This mound is near Kashan, and some 200 miles 
to the south of the Caspian Sea. In the basal and oldest stratum, 
under ninety-two feet of deposits which had accumulated during 
an occupation period of over 2,000 years, they found the habita- 
tions and outfit of the earliest Iranian villages so far brought to 
light. 19 Now, the deepest stratum at Tepe Siyalk is ohhi than the 
deepest layer at Tepe Giyan, and that, in turn, is older than Tell 


Halaf ; we must therefore give the original peasant villagers of 
Siyalk a very early date, one well within the sixth millennium. 

On the strength of the archaeological evidence the village settle- 
ment discovered at Siyalk has claims to be considered as the earliest 
known to us so far. When we consider the culture of these 
ancient peasants it is clear they are far beyond the first stage in the 
development of agriculture. " These people," wrote Dr. D. 
McCown, 20 " formed a self-contained unit. . . . They made the 
walls of their settled dwellings with beaten mud ; they cut grain 
(wheat and barley) with flint blades set in bone holders, grinding 
it on saddle-shaped querns and in mortars ; they had at least one 
variety of domesticated sheep." Copper was native to their 
district, and they made some use of it. They were potters and 
weavers; they made beads and bracelets, stone hoes and axes, 
vessels and mace-heads of stone. They buried their dead under 
their habitations, just as did the cave-dwellers of Mt. Carmel. 
One other remarkable feature links the Siyalk villagers with the 
Palestinians ; both peoples decorated the bone handles of their 
flint sickles with carvings of a similar kind. That fact impresses 
me very deeply, for between these two peoples there intervened 
1000 miles of country occupied by a great number of small 
isolated communities. To explain the wide diffusion of a feature 
so peculiar in its nature in the sixth millennium, it is clear we 
must seek for the beginning of agriculture as early as the eighth 

In order to gain more light on the wide distribution of village 
life throughout the Iranian plateau in the early part of the fifth 
millennium, and the high stage of culture attained by the villagers, 
we are now to move to the site of Persepolis, 300 miles to the south 
of Tepe Siyalk. There we are to find a culture contemporary 
with, or perhaps earlier than, that of Tell Halaf. On the plain of 
Persepolis there is a mound which was excavated by Herzfeld. 21 
Here are some of the more important points from his 
description : — 

" The Persepolis mound is situated in the middle of the 
fertile plain at quite a distance from the present beds of the two 
large rivers that irrigate it, but near to a rich spring, whence a 
little j/Vulet emanates which in anciijnt times probably passed 
the site. . . . The village is an agglomeration of rooms and 


courtyards, not of separate houses. In fact it is a kind of 
bee-hive, one continuous house. . . . Although the potter's 
wheel was still unknown, the pottery surpasses almost all 
other wares of a later period. . . . The vessels were made for 
its household by its own members ; hence the large number 
of small kilns among the rooms of the village. All pottery, 
except a rough ware for cooking, is painted, and it is amaz- 
ingly rich in types as well as in decoration. Side by side 
with naturalistic representations there are, the most abstract 
drawings, shapes reduced to geometric units. Sheep, goats, 
swine, cows, and dogs were certainly domesticated. ..." ■ 

From this description it is clear that early in the fifth millen- 
nium the Iranian peasantry had developed a high artistic ability, 
and had so intensified their social aptitudes that their community 
formed a large integrated household. They were already the 
product of a long Neolithic civilization. 

The aim I had in view in writing this essay must not be lost 
sight of; it was to trace the passage of local groups, of primal 
food-gathering times, into the village communities of the food- 
producing post-primal period. The search for the intermediate 
stages which link the one period to the other has eluded us so far. 
But seeing that we have obtained evidence that tillage was 
practised at an earlier date on the Iranian plateau than elsewhere, it 
seems to me that we are justified in assuming that it was on the 
pleateau that man made his exodus from a primal mode of exis- 
tence, and so initiated a revolutionary change in life, which, slowly 
spreading abroad, ultimately involved almost the whole of man- 
kind. I imagine that the mode by which he made his exodus was 
somewhat as follows : It was made most probably towards the 
beginning of the eighth millennium. Until then every group 
living on the plateau occupied its own territory and lived on the 
natural produce of that territory. One of these group territories, 
we may presume, had a fertile area where a wild form of wheat 
grew, and in the autumn, when the grain was ripe, the local group 
repaired to this area and, as is still the habit in some parts of native 
Australia, not only reaped the grain, but also stored it against the 
coming winter. We may also assume, from what is known of the 
mentality of the Australian aborigine, that the primirtve Iranian 
regarded the wheat-plant as a gift of their local god — the god of 


the soil and of fertility — and he had to be propitiated when they 
robbed him of his harvest. The natural way of appeasement would 
be a return of some of the ripe grain to the soil. The response of 
the soil by the production of new plants would convince the sower 
that this mode of sacrifice was accepted, and so encourage him or 
her — most likely her — to continue and extend the practice. 
When a sacrifice is made by primitive men, it has to be of the best. 
So it is probable that the best grains were returned to the soil, and 
thus the first stage in the improvement of wheat by cultivation 
was instituted. As this field of natural wheat increased in size and 
productivity, the local group would begin to depend on it more 
and more for its chief source of food. Ultimately they would 
anchor themselves by it, build settled abodes, and so bring into 
existence a village settlement. The group, of course, would still 
maintain its rights over its hunting territory as an additional 
source of food-supply. Possibly it added to this supply by the 
domestication of local animals. 

Thus, if my theory is well founded, the local group which was 
the evolutionary unit of the primal period became in the passage 
to the post-primal period a village settlement, but tliis settlement 
retained all the isolating attributes of the old evolutionary unit. 
The evolutionary machinery remained the same ; only the form, 
size, and potentialities of the unit were changed. The territory 
which could provide sustenance for one local group became cap- 
able of supporting ten, or even twenty, such groups. The 
groups increased in size and number. The village communities 
we have noted at Siyalk and at Persepolis I regard as descendant 
of the original local groups, modified by the discoveries and 
accumulated experience of two millennia, but still retaining the 
essential features of " evolutionary units." 

Herzfeld and other students of the village settlements of ancient 
Iran have been impressed by the absence from them of warlike 
equipment. The villages were open and unwalled ; stone mace- 
heads and axes were found in them ; there were sling-stones, but 
no arrow-heads or spearheads. The villagers were pacific in 
nature ; they were not big-boned, big-bodied, warlike folk. 
There seems to have been little rivalry or competition between 
neighbouring settlements. To me this pacific disposition seems 
to be onej/which ought to be expected yi a land where discovery 
had made it possible for twenty families or more to live con- 


tentedly where there was previously room for only one family. 
The discovery of agriculture gave room and room to spare during 
the earlier millennia of the post-primal period. Such was the 
condition of the earlier peasantry of the pleateau. But in time 
conditions changed. All the desirable arable areas became 
occupied; competition set in between neighbouring groups. 
Village settlements increased in size and in number. It was as 
towns began to appear that the paraphernalia of war came into 
existence. These, and other matters, will come up for considera- 
tion in the essay which follows. 


1 Keith, Sir A., New Discoveries relating to the Antiquity of Man, 193 1, 
ch. XIII. 

2 Garrod, Dorothy, The Stone Age of Mount Carmel, 1939, vol. 1. 

3 Caton-Thompson, G., The Desert Fayum, 1935. 

4 Childe, V. Gordon, New Light on the Most Ancient East, 1034, p. 51. 

5 Childe, V. Gordon, Man, 1942, p. 130. 

6 Professor Garrod expressed the opinion that the Natufian culture may have 
continued to the sixth millennium or even to the fifth. See under reference 2, 
p. 118. 

7 Haddon, A. C, The Races of Man, 1924, p. 143. 

8 Vavilov, N. I., Studies in the Origin of Cultivated Plants, Leningrad, 1926; 
Nature, Jan. 23, 1937; Haldane, J. B. S., Proc. Royal Institute, 1931, p. 356. 

9 Schmidt, E. F., Excavations at Tepe Hissar, Datnghati, Univ. Pennsylvan., 


10 Krogman, W. M., Verhand, Kon Nedarld. Ahad. Wetensch., 1940, vol. 39, 
no. 2. 

11 Herzfeld, Ernst, Archaeological History of Iran, 1935; A Survey of Persian 
Art, edited by A. Upham Pope, 1938, vol. 1, p. 42. 

12 Field, Dr. Henry, The Asiatic Review, July, 1939. 

13 Oppenheim, Baron Max von, Tell Halaf, 1933. 

14 See p. 251 of work referred to under note 4. 

15 Mallowan, M. E. L., The Excavations at Tell Arpachiya, 1935. 

16 Speiscr, E. A., Bull. Amer. Instit. Iran. Art, 1937, vol. 5, p. 3. 

17 Contenau and Ghirshman, Musee de Louvre : Serie archxolog., vol. 3, 

18 McCown, Donald E., Jour. Near Eastern Studies, 1942, vol. 1, p. 424; 
The Comparative Stratigraphy of Early Iran, no. 23, Univ. Chicago Press, 1942. 

19 Ghirshman, R., Sialk, vol. 1, p. 11, Musk du Louvre: Serie Archazolog., 
vols. 4, 5, 1938-9. 

20 McCown, Donald E., see reference 18, p. 425. 

21 Herzfeld, Ernst, A Survey of Persian Art, edited by A. Upham Pope, 1938, 
vol. 1, p. 47. 




Synopsis. — Subject of essay outlined. Chronology of cultural periods. 
The coming of towns and cities in ancient Iran. Iran and Greater 
Mesopotamia compared. Assyria, Mesopotamia , Babylonia defined. 
The chronology of the cultural periods at Nineveh. Fate of Nineveh. 
The author assumes that Babylonia was " settled " by Assyrian peas- 
antry before the end of the sixth millennium. Coming of Sumerians. 
The Sumerian settlement at al'Ubaid, and at Ur. The archceological 
history of Erech. Development of theocratic government. The 
evolution of marsh villages into independent city-Statcs. Estimates of 
the population of Babylonia; the size of its cities. In the course of 
2,000 years the numerous, small, scattered village units of Babylonia 
were transformed into a score of independent city-Statcs. The racial 
characters of the Sumerians. Their absorption by people of the Semitic 
stock. Contention and strife between the cities. Reduced to dependent 
status by Sargon of Agade. The ultimate fate of the cities. The 
evolutionary weakness of city-States. 

In the preceding essay my theme was the transformation of local 
communities of primal times into peasant village settlements ; my 
thesis in this essay is the evolution of village settlements into city- 
States such as dominated life in early Babylonia. The change from 
a village stage of existence to the full city stage seems to imply the 
passage of a long period of time, yet as evidence now stands we 
must believe that such a transformation began to take place before 
the end of the fifth millennium. It must be apparent to my readers 
that the process of human evolution, as carried on between great 
city-States, and within them, must be a very different affair from 
that which prevailed in and between small local groups of 
To begin our search for evidence it will be convenient to 



return again to the site of the ancient village of Siyalk on the 
Iranian plateau. Tepe Siyalk, it will be remembered, lies 200 
miles south of the Caspian, and is now situated on the edge of the 
great central desert of Persia. Our first business at Siyalk is to 
formulate a time-scale which will permit us to compare the village 
strata and periods with those of the cities of Babylonia. We 
have seen that the deepest and oldest stratum at Siyalk (Siyalk I) 
is deemed to be of older date than the Mesopotamian culture of 
Tell Halaf, and is provisionally assigned to the end of the sixth 
millennium. The second cultural stratum at Siyalk (Siyalk II) is 
at present judged to be contemporaneouswith the Halafian culture 
of Mesopotamia, and in the meantime is assigned to the first half 
of the fifth millennium. Then comes the third stratum at Siyalk 
(Siyalk III) ; this is judged to be contemporaneous with a culture 
which was widely spread in southern Iran in the latter half of the 
fifth century, and which has been named the Ubaid culture. 
The Ubaid culture, we shall find, became widely spread in 
Babylonia, and there supplies archaeologists with a datum line. 

My second reason for returning to Siyalk is to note the rise of 
ancient townships on the plateau. "When Siyalk III was being 
laid down, and when the Ubaidian culture reigned in South Iran, 
a new township came into being at Tepe Hissar, which lay to the 
east of Damghan. Now, Tepe Hissar, which supplied us with 
information concerning the Iranian population (p. 280), lies nearly 
250 miles to the north-east of Siyalk and fifty miles to the south 
of the Caspian. Between Hissar and the Caspian rise up the 
Elburz mountains. Streams rising in these mountains flow south- 
wards until their waters are lost in the desert. Near one of these 
lost streams the township of Hissar was founded in the period of 
the Ubaid culture, and therefore in the latter half of the fifth 
millennium. The deepest stratum at Hissar (Hissar I) was con- 
temporaneous with the Ubaid culture of the south. The cultural 
stratum which follows (Hissar II) is inferred to be of the same 
date as a culture which was widely distributed in Babylonia, and 
is known by the name of Uruk. This culture, at present, is 
attributed to the first half of the fourth millennium. Over 
Hissar II come two other cultural deposits which correspond to 
the Babylonian cultures known as Jemdet Nasr — attributed to 
the latter half of the fourth millennium — and that 06 the early 
Babylonian Dynasties (placed in the first half of the third mil- 


lennium). After an existence of some 2,000 years the township 
of Hissar came to an end in the Early Dynastic period. 1 It was 
during the two last periods of culture that Hissar expanded and 
began to show traces of contact with the outer world; war 
chariots made an appearance and copper was more freely used for 
tools and for weapons. Thus villages were expanding into towns 
on the Iranian plateau during the fourth millennium. 

When the township of Hissar was being established in the north 
during the latter half of the fifth millennium, people of the south, 
carrying with them the Ubaid culture, descended from the plateau 
and began to build the city of Susa on the eastern threshold of the 
Babylonian delta. The first city of Susa is said to have covered 
an -area of 300 acres ; 2 if it was built in the compact, warren-like 
way of Eastern cities, then we may reckon that each acre had 
about 500 inhabitants, giving a total population of 150,000. We 
may attribute the rapid growth of Susa to the fact that large 
areas of the central plateau were drying up into tracts of desert 
during the fifth millennium, while the delta lands were well 
watered and fertile. However this may have been, and whatever 
the exact population of early Susa was, the important fact for us 
is that city-States were coming into existence by the end of the 
fifth millennium. Thus I am assuming that in the course of 
4,000 years the natives of the Iranian plateau passed from member- 
ship of small local units of food-gatherers to one which bound 
them in massed city units. Susa had a chequered life of 4,000 
years ; it was there, towards the end of the sixth century B.C., 
that Mordecai, the Jew, had the satisfaction of seeing his oppressor, 
Haman the Proud, hanged on a gallows " fifty cubits high," 
which he (Haman) had prepared for the Jew. 

I now come to the major object of this essay — the rise of city- 
States ha lands which, in later times, became known as Babylonia, 
Mesopotamia, and Assyria. It is necessary to carry with us a 
broad idea of the position and size of these three lands. Assyria, 
which was nearly. equal in size to England (50,000 square miles), 
was situated between the Tigris and the Zagros mountains and 
extended from the mountains of Khurdistan in the north to 
Susiana in the south. Mesopotamia, somewhat larger in area, 
lay between the Euphrates and Tigris and stretched from Khurdi- 
stan southwards to within forty miles, of the city of Babylon. 
The area of Babylonia was only about 25,000 square miles, being 


thus about twice the size of Holland. It extended from Meso- 
potamia to the Persian Gulf. 

In the preceding essay we had occasion to visit the site of 
Nineveh in northern Assyria. We must now return to that site 
to obtain a date which will link the history of Nineveh with the 
city-States of Babylonia. Such a date is supplied by a temple 
built in Nineveh by a grandson of Sargon of Agade. This temple 
is usually dated 2450 B.C., but it may be a century later. Between 
the foundation of this temple and the virgin soil there are seventy 
feet of deposits, in which a succession of five cultural periods can 
be recognized. The deepest or first stratum is that formed by the 
peasant villagers, whose manner of life was very similar to that 
we noted in the village settlements on the Iranian plateau at 
Siyalk some 500 miles distant from Nineveh. The second stra- 
tum at Nineveh (Nineveh II) was also laid down by villagers; 
they had become influenced by the Samarra culture, which 
appears to have been native to western Iran and is regarded as 
older than that of Ubaid. It is at the end of the second period 
that Halafian influences reached the Ninevite villagers. If we 
attribute the culture of Tell Halaf which lies 120 miles to the west 
of Nineveh, to the first half of the fifth millennium, then we must 
allow Nineveh I and II a date well within the sixth millennium, 
giving them an antiquity as great, if not greater than, that of 
Siyalk I. The important point for us is that by the end of the 
sixth millennium the inhabitants of northern Assyria had long 
ceased to be members of local groups of food-gatherers ; they had 
become peasants and lived together in village units. 

The three cultural deposits which are interposed between the 
village strata and the overlying temple, covering a period of 
1,500 years, mark the expansion of Nineveh into a city-State. 
No doubt it had its government, its laws, and its demarcated 
territory. It had become an evolutionary unit of a new kind. 
It began to rise into power in the latter part of the second mil- 
lennium, became imperialistic and aggressive, a policy which led 
to its destruction before the end of the seventh century B.C., 
Assyria then becoming a Median province. At its zenith Nineveh 
is said to have covered an area of i,8oo acres. If we allow only 
100 inhabitants to the acre, that means a population of 180,000; 
it may well have been twice this estimate. In the course of 5,000 
years Nineveh passed from its beginning to its untimely end; 


during that time some 200 generations had been born and died 
within its habitations. Nineveh, as a student of evolution 
measures values, was a failure; it failed because it lacked an 
essential quality — that which secures endurance. 

Having thus obtained reliable evidence that peasant communities 
had been established in northern Assyria and in the adjacent region 
of northern Mesopotamia long before the end of the sixth mil- 
lennium, we bend our steps southwards to the flat, reedy, marshy 
lowlands which in later times became known as Babylonia. Here 
we shall find no trace of peasant settlements as old as those of the 
north. Nay, all the evidence points to the conclusion that long 
after the art of agriculture had been developed in the north the 
marshes of Babylonia remained the home of local groups of 
primal fowlers and fishers. In the absence of direct evidence we 
have to infer what really happened. We infer, then, that the 
peasant villagers of the north slowly invaded the hunting-grounds 
of the primal groups of the south, establishing new settlements 
on the rich soil of the higher grounds or " islands " of the marshy 
country. Judging from modern instances, we may be sure that 
the native hunters retired sullenly before the peasant invaders, 
fighting many a rear-guard action, but were ultimately driven 
out. Thus I assume that by the end of the sixth millennium the 
whole of the marshlands of Babylonia had been settled by small 
colonies of the northern peasantry. 

What was the racial nature of these northern Assyrian peasants ? 
Here, too, the evidence is largely circumstantial, and yet very 
definite. At many ancient sites along the Tigris and along the 
Euphrates, sites which are reliably dated in the earlier half of the 
fourth millennium, representations of human features have been 
preserved, and among these the prevailing type is that to which I 
would give the term Assyrian. The arresting features of the 
Assyrian face are a prominent hooked form of nose, eyes widely 
open, lips full andsomewhat everted, hairy people, thickly bearded 
in the unshaven; the head usually long, but may be rounded. 
The Assyrian features are still reproduced in a percentage of the 
Jewish and Armenian peoples. I do not suppose that, in even the 
purest and most inbred of communities, every one was of the 
Assyrian type; the genes needed to reproduce the Assyrian 
features were so distributed in the community that they came 
together only in a proportion of conceptions. Nevertheless the 


reproduction of the Assyrian features is a racial character of the 
people we are now dealing with. The Assyrian features, I pre- 
sume, were evolved among the Caucasian natives of the Anatolian 
area, which extends northwards from Mesopotamia and Assyria ; 
and I also assume that the early peasants of Assyria were of this 
race and that it was this race which provided the first settlers in 

Some time before the middle of the fifth millennium rumours 
seem to have reached the drought-stricken Iranians of the peace 
and plenty which crowned the lives of the peasant pioneers of 
Babylonia. We have seen that they descended to the lowlands to 
settle at Susa ; another branch of Iranians is assumed to have passed - 
into the lower delta areas of Babylonia and to have effected 
settlements on sites already occupied by the Assyrian pioneers. 
These Iranian invaders, whom we shall speak of henceforth as 
Sumerians, brought with them a form of " culture," which was 
first detected at al'Ubaid, and hence has been named Ubaidian. 
al'Ubaid, which lies in the desert four miles to the west of the city 
of Ur, was excavated by Dr. H. R. Hall and Sir Leonard Woolley 
after the first world war. 3 The excavators found that, tempted 
by ground which rose high above the surrounding marshes, the 
Sumerians had made a settlement there. They sowed and reaped ; 
they kept cattle ; they were a dairying people. This culture 
which Woolley found on the surface at al'Ubaid he again en- 
countered in the foundations of Ur ; he had to dig to a depth of 
sixty feet to reach it. The founders of Ur building on the level 
marsh were bearers of the Ubaidian culture. 

Of the various Sumerian cities that have been excavated down 
to the virgin soil, Erech has yielded the clearest information of 
the manner in which a marsh village became transformed into a 
great city. Erech — Uruk and Warka, are its other names — was 
separated from neighbouring cities by thirty to forty miles of 
intervening territory — the usual distance between Sumerian 
cities — although Ur, which lay down-stream from Erech, was 
only twelve miles distant from the most southern city, Eridu. 
Erech was excavated (1930-32) by a team of German archaeolo- 
gists ; 4 they had to pass through seventy feet of stratified deposit, 
representing five long cultural periods, to reach the original 
marsh surface. The six deepest strata (I-VI) represented develop- 
ments of the Ubaid "culture of the Sumerian villagers — 


developments usually assigned to the latter half of the fifth millen- 
nium, being thus post-Halafian in date. The next seven strata 
(VII- XIII) carry objects of another cultural period — that of Uruk. 
This culture is regarded as a gradual development from the pre- 
ceding Ubaidian culture, and is attributed to the first half of the 
fourth millennium. In this period atErechwe meetwith ziggurats, 
with the foundations of superimposed temples of magnificent 
style and dimensions, with pictures of arm-tied captives, and of 
war chariots. The ziggurat and temple are signs that a theo- 
cratic government had been established; the priest-king had 
become recognized as the intermediary between the people of 
Erech and the God of Erech ; the God owned the land and the 
people ; to him all rents and revenues were paid. 

After the Uruk period followed that of Jemdet Nasr (strata 
XIV- XV). In this cultural period, attributed to the latter half 
of the fourth millennium, temple-building continues and an 
early form of writing comes into use. Then follow strata attri- 
buted to the first half of the third millennium, the period of the 
" Early Dynasties," the period which saw Babylonian cities at 
the zenith of their development and with their hounds of war 
straining on the leash. 

Looking at the surface of things with the eye of a student of 
human evolution, I try to discern the nature of the forces 
which, in 2,000 years, transformed marsh villages into great 
cities. This is how I imagine the transformation to have been 
effected. At the beginning we have village communities spread 
over the marshlands of Babylonia, each community being an 
independent unit, owning its territory and capable of its own 
defence. As tillage improved villages would increase in number 
and also in size of population. With these increases came the 
struggle between adjoining village communities, weaker villages 
combining against the stronger neighbour, until, finally, some 
one village, because of the courage and enterprise of its chief or 
of the natural fertility of its territory, or because of its favourable 
situation for trade, or of a combination of all three factors, became 
a central power, and the foundation of a city-State. Thus it 
happened that the 25,000 square miles of Babylonia became 
divided into the territories of some twenty independent city-States. 
What was^the population of Babylonia when the city-States were 
at the height of their development? I can find no previous esti- 


mate, but seeing the high state of irrigation and tillage then 
reached, it does not seem too much to allow 320 inhabitants for 
each square mile of territory, an allowance which gives Babylonia 
a maximum population of eight millions. The population of 
an average city with its surrounding territory would thus be 
about 400,000. This estimate may be checked in several ways. 
There are areas of city sites. The old, walled city of Ur covered 
250 acres ; if we allow 500 inhabitants to the acre, this gives a 
population for the city of 125,000; if we allow an equal number 
for the rural area, the total number of Urites would be 250,000. 
The later Ur is said to have had an area of over 5,000 acres, but 
much of this remained as open space. The city of Erech is given 
an area of 1,280 acres ; at 500 inhabitants to the acre, this indicates 
a population of 640,000. The ruins of the city of Kish cover 
120 acres, indicating a population of about 60,000; the walls 
included an area of over 6,000 acres. The township of Jemdet 
Nasr (3400 B.C.) covered an area of only seven acres, indicating a 
population of 3,500. Even if we halve these estimates, it is clear 
that the independent or evolutionary units in Babylonia had 
undergone a transformation in the course of 2,000 years. Many 
hundreds of small competing village communities had become 
changed into about a score of powerful, competing city-States. 

In a racial sense, what sort of people were the Sumerians ? 
Sir Leonard Woolley gave me an opportunity of examining and 
reporting on a sample of skulls from an Early Dynastic cemetery 
of Ur, presumably Sumerians. 5 They had the same long, narrow, 
high heads as the early people of Siyalk and of Hissar (see p. 280) ; 
in size of brain they were quite the equal of modern Europeans. 
Their facial features were regular, the chin ample, and in a pro- 
portion of the men the nose was quite Assyrian in size and in 
shape. From this circumstance it does seem probable that the 
original peasant population had assimilated the Sumerians of 
Irania. Cultural and political influence spread from Sumer (the 
southern half of Babylonia) up the Tigris and Euphrates, but the 
Sumerian tongue remained confined to their own cities. By the 
beginning of the second millennium b.c. their tongue also had 
been conquered by that of the peasant pioneers ; from which we 
may infer that the Semitic speech and the Semitic features have 
qualities which are at once stable, dominant, and persistent. 

In the first half of the third millennium (Early Dynastic period) 


we find the city-States of Babylonia in a state of contention and 
strife, each competing against the other. Lagash goes to war 
with its neighbour Uumma to settle disputes about frontier and 
irrigation rights ; Kish, Erech, and Ur, in turn, attempt to 
dominate the whole of Babylonia; after temporary successes the 
old spirit of local independence asserts itself. After the middle of 
the third millennium Sargon appears ; he is a sprout from the old 
peasant (Assyrian) stock ; he establishes his capital at Agade in 
northern Babylonia; becomes master of a standing army of 
54,000 men ; fights thirty-four battles, reduces all the other cities 
to dependencies, and so establishes an empire from " sea to sea." 
For 200 years the Sargonic dynasty had often to repress the spirit 
of local independence. "When the dynasty of Sargon fell, Erech, 
Ur, and Larsa succeeded in turn to universal but temporary rule. 
And so we reach the beginning of the second millennium B.C., 
when Hammurabi of Babylon, like Sargon, a Semite, again 
reduced all the other cities to a dependent status and established a 
single law and god throughout the land. In 1740 B.C. the govern- 
ment of Babylon was interrupted by another Iranian invasion 
(Kassite), which survived until the rise of Assyrian power to- 
wards the end of the fourteenth century; then the brief resuscita- 
tion of Babylonian power (635-539 B.C.) ; this was brought to an 
end by another Iranian invasion — the arrival of the Persians under 
Cyrus. Local government broke down; irrigation channels 
became clogged ; food failed, and life in the cities of Babylonia 
flickered out. Some inhabitants, I suspect, sought homes in 
other cities, but most probably joined local tribal communities. 
Thus some 4,000 years after emerging from a tribal state most 
of the inhabitants of Babylonia returned to that state. 

It was my intention to follow the rise of city-States in Asia 
Minor, in Crete, in Greece (both in Mycenaean and Athenian 
times), in northern Italy (a.d. i 000- 15 00), and in Germany (Frank- 
fort and the cities of the Hanseatic League). Tins seems to me 
now unnecessary ; the lesson they have to teach us is that which we 
have already learned from Babylonia — namely, that from a 
evolutionary point of view, city-States carry a weakness which 
sooner or later proves mortal. All go the way of Nineveh. 
What the nature of that weakness is may come to light by the 
survey of a people which has maintained a continuity of at least 
8,000 yeats. Hence my next essay is devbted to Egypt. 



1 The estimated ages of the cultural strata of ancient Iran are based on those 
given by Dr. Donald McCown. See preceding essay, reference 1 8. See also 
Dr. Henri Frankfort's Archxology and the Sumerian Problem, Study No. 4 in 
" Ancient Oriental Civilization," Univ. Chicago, 1932. 

2 Morgan, J. De, Mission archcsologiqae de Perse; Mimoires Tomes 16-24, 

3 Woolley, Sir Leonard, Ur of the Chaldees, 1929. 

4 For an account of the cultural strata found at Erech/see Professor Gordon 
Childe's New Light on the Most Ancient East, 1934, ch. VL 

6 Woolley and Keith, "Excavations at al'Ubaid," Publications of the British 
Museum, 1927. 



Synopsis. — Egypt the oldest of historical nations. Definition ■ of 
Nation. How formed. The national rise of Egypt compared with 
that of Babylonia. Conditions favouring the formation of a nation in 
Egypt. The Egyptians were and are a peasant people. Their men- 
tality; Egyptian dough and Babylonian leaven. Egypt has been 
claimed to have been the cradle of the world's civilization. The prior 
claims of Asia. Evidence of the early arrival of Asiatics in Egypt. 
Estimates of the population of Egypt in primal and in post-primal times. 
'The Egyptians as a national or evolutionary unit. National life was 
interrupted from time to time by reversion to a multi-tribal state. 
Egypt under foreign domination. Sovereignty not essential to give a 
people a national status. The Arabization of Egypt. The physical 
history of the Egyptians is more complete than that of any other people. 
A nation has the power to assimilate foreign types to its own. Anthro- 
pological inquiries favour the conclusion that modem Egyptians have 
reverted to the pre-dynastic type. The origin of the Egyptians; their 
nearest relatives. How the Semitic and Hamitic tongues may have 
sprung from a common root. The possibility of an early settlement in 
the delta of a people of the Caucasian stock. 

About the middle of the fourth millennium B.C. the tribal com- 
munities of Lower Egypt, each living on its own territory, began 
to be amalgamated under a dominant chief who succeeded in 
establishing a kingdom. A parallel process took place in Upper 
Egypt ; the score or more of tribal groups or nomes, strung like 
beads along the banks of the Nile from Aswan downwards for a 
stretch of over 300 miles, were brought under a single government 
by the chief of the Falcon Nome or clan, who thus became king of 
Upper Egypt. His home territory was on the east bank of the 
river some forty miles below the site which Aswan now occupies. 1 

■ 397 


A century or two before the end of the fourth millennium — the 
date usually accepted is 3300 B.C. — war broke out between the 
two kings, victory going to the Falcon King of Upper Egypt. 
Of the vanquished 6,000 are said to have been slain and 12,000 
taken prisoner. Thus was brought into existence the first nation 
(in the modern sense) of which we have record. The first 
nation was brought into existence by war ; war has proved to be 
the midwife of nations ever since. It is also worthy of note that 
when the first pharaoh established rule in Egypt the separatist 
cities of Babylon were in the Jemdet stage of their cultural 

What do I mean by a nation — in the modern sense? Let me 
base my definition by taking Ancient Egypt as an illustration: 
[a) A single central government was established ; (b) the people 
so ruled occupied an extensive continuous country, one which 
extended from the Mediterranean to the first cataract — a distance 
of 550 miles as a plane flies, (c) The tribal communities, or 
nomes, gradually forgot their local differences and became con- 
scious of membership of a larger or national unit ; or to state the 
same thing in other words — the men of the nomes transferred, 
to the central pharaoh, wholly or in part, the allegiance formerly 
given to their local chiefs, (d) The love of an Egyptian for 
his home-territory — his patriotism — extended to allparts inhabited 
by his fellow subjects, (e) The Egyptians became conscious that 
they and their nation were separate from, and different from, all 
other nations and peoples, (j) They became speakers of the same 
tongue, heirs of the same customs and of the same tradition, sub- 
jects of the same laws, and believers in the same gods ; all of these 
attributes served as national bonds, (g) They became aware that 
their personal security and safety were bound up with that of their 
country and learned that national security can be bought only at 
the price of personal sacrifice. 

To make all these national feelings glow with a steady ardour 
required the passage, not of one, but of many generations. Fate 
smiled on the early dynasties of Egypt ; from the first Dynasty 
to the sixth, covering a period of over 800 years, central govern- 
ment remained strong and the nation united. During that time 
more than thirty generations came and went; one would have 
thought that a unity, after prevailing over this long period, would 
have become consolidated as a permanent element in thi. national 


tradition. The event proved that this was not the case ; in times 
when central government became weak local chiefs again rose to 

Why was it that the local village communities of Babylonia 
developed into a number of independent single States while those 
of Egypt became merged, at a stride, into one great national unit? 
There were several reasons, the chief being the distribution of 
arable and inhabitable land in Egypt. The desert encroached so 
closely to both banks of the Nile that only narrow green verges 
remained for habitation. Nowhere could rebellious minorities 
retreat to mountainous fastnesses ; all were exposed on the river- 
banks ; a central government using the Nile as a highway could 
bring a superior force to bear on any recalcitrant nome. That, I 
think, was the main factor in the early nationalization of the 
Egyptians. Another factor was the passion of the Egyptian 
peasant for his soil. To be stable a population must be based on 
the land. In Babylonia peasant villagers freely left the land to 
live in towns and share in trade. To these factors there is one 
more to be added — namely, the mentalityof theancientEgyptians. 
They were more apt to obey and follow than to lead and com- 
mand. They were deficient in the ability needed to invent and 
to initiate, but were clever at copying and modifying. Theirs 
was not a jealous competitive mentality. In those mental 
qualities where the Egyptian fell short the Babylonian abounded. 
Plainly an addition of a little Babylonian leaven to the Egyptian 
dough should be attended by happy results. It was something of 
this kind which actually happened at the dawn of civilization. 

It will repay us to look at the ancient Egyptians through the 
eyes of my friend and fellow-anatomist, Grafton Elliot Smith 
(1871-1937). He was born in Australia, 2 educated for medicine 
in the Universities of Sydney and of Cambridge, and was called 
to fill the chair of anatomy in the Government Medical College, 
Cairo, in 1900, and there he remained until 1909. During his stay 
in Egypt discovery after discovery was throwing a new light on 
the early history of Egypt, not only on that of the first Dynasty of 
Kings (3300-3200 B.C.), but also on that of the preceding or 
pre-dynastic period, carrying the prehistory of Egypt back to the 
middle of jthe fifth millennium B.C. After making a thorough 
study of the pre-dynastic inhabitants of Egypt, 3 Elliot Smith be- 
came mvre and more impressed with the importance of their 


culture. So completely had Egypt preserved every stage in the 
evolution of its culture that he became convinced that civilization 
had been born and cradled on the banks of the lower Nile and 
nowhere else. He had great courage as well as conviction ; there 
was no rest for him until he had tried to bring the world to his 
way of thinking. Long before Elliot Smith commenced his 
advocacy many experts regarded Egypt as the mother of civiliza- 
tion . If this were really the case, then all the early cultures we have 
encountered in Iran and Babylonia should be traceable to Egypt. 
Between the two world wars our knowledge of the ancient 
cultures of S.W. Asia went forwards at an amazing pace; the 
Indus Valley proved to be at one extremity of the area of culture, 
Egypt at the other. The central position of the Iranian plateau 
and the early cultures already discovered there make it probable 
that it was the inhabitants of this part of Asia who initiated the 
cultural movement which has revolutionized the grouping of 
mankind. The Egyptians and Indians were copyists rather than 
creators. In the case of Egypt there is evidence that she received 
immigrants at an early date. In 1895 five small ancient burying- 
places on the west bank of the Nile near Abydos were opened by 
the celebrated French archaeologist, J. de Morgan; these early 
graves are now dateable to about the middle of the fifth millen- 
nium, the time at which the Sumerians are supposed to have 
brought the Ubaidian culture to Babylonia. The people buried 
in these early graves were described by Dr. Fouquet. 5 They 
differed altogether from the pre-dynastic Egyptians, and were of 
a type found by Sir Leonard Woolley at Ur. They had big 
heads and brains (the latter being in point of size equal to those 
of modern Europeans), whereas the pre-dynastic brain fell about 
100 c.c. below the European average. A still older culture, the 
Tasian, was discovered (1927-9) by Mr. Guy Brunton in Middle 
Egypt on the east bank of the Nile ; 8 it is usually assigned to the 
earlier part of the fifth millennium, and would be thus con- 
temporary with the Halafian culture of Mesopotamia ; it may 
even be late sixth millennium. The Tasians were agriculturalists ; 
their cranial characters indicate an Asiatic rather than an Egyptian 
origin. Whether or not the earliest traces of the art of agricul- 
ture in Egypt are older than any found so far in Asia is debatable, 7 
but when all the evidence is taken into account I am of opinion 
that Asia has the better claim. 


I am assuming, then, that down to the end of the seventh 
millennium the inhabitants of Egypt were in a primal state of 
existence, obtaining a living by hunting and by food-gathering. I 
am assuming, too, that by this time desert conditions had set in and 
that only the narrow valley, some 550 miles in length when all its 
bends are allowed for, afforded the inhabitants subsistence. 
What was the population of Egypt then ? And how was it 
organized? We have seen (p. 269) that it needs one square mile 
of fertile land to support a single individual in primal times ; the 
fertile arable land of modern Egypt is reckoned to be 12,000 
square miles. If we take this as a measure of the country available 
to the food-gatherers, then the total population of primal Egypt 
was 12,000 souls. More than half of the arable land is in the 
delta, less than half along the 5 50 miles of valley. As the valley was 
the better hunting country we shall assign half of the population 
to the valley area and half to the delta. Six thousand people 
spread in groups along 550 miles of valley gives nine to each mile 
of the river. A local group is likely to have occupied a territory 
extending about ten miles along the valley, and would thus be 
made up of about ninety members — men, women, and children. 
The population of the valley would thus be divided into about 
fifty-five separate local communities. We may assume that the 
primal population of the delta was also separated into local com- 
munities similar in size to those of the valley, giving a total of over 
one hundred independent evolutionary units in primal Egypt. 
As agriculture prospered the local groups became swollen in size ; 
they also became fewer in number owing to fusion of local groups. 
In the pre-dynastic period these local territorial groups became 
known as nomes. 

We are now in a position to appreciate what the union of the 
Crowns (3300 B.C.) means to the student of human evolution. 
The population of Egypt which, in primal times, was arranged in 
a myriad of independent small communities, became, in dynastic 
times, fused into one huge unit. With this union the struggle 
between local groups was eased, but the dangers of a struggle with 
peoples outside the bounds of Egypt were heightened. Against 
outside enemies Egypt was most fortunately situated. Every- 
where shejtvas protected by desert save at her southern end (where 
she bordered on the valley tribes of Nubia) and at her northern or 
Mediterjtinean frontier, where a land bridge gave Asiatics access to 


the fertile marshlands of the delta. From pre-dynastic times 
onwards it was by this Asiatic bridge that her immigrants and 
invaders made their approach. 

Thanks to the progress of irrigation and tillage the population 
of Egypt, which we have estimated at 12,000 in primal times, 
numbered, in the more flourishing dynastic eras, about seven 
millions. 8 The square mile which supported only a single 
being became capable of nourishing over 580 lives. At the 
present time (1946) the population of Egypt is estimated at 
seventeen millions, which implies that for each arable square mile 
there are 1,400 inhabitants — double the number met with in the 
most densely populated countries of Europe. When we consider 
such changes as these, we are compelled to admit that the spade 
and hoe have revolutionized the conditions of human evolution. 

I am regarding the Egyptian nation as an evolutionary unit — 
the first of its kind to come into existence. It has now a history 
of more than 5,000 years; no other nation has retained its 
individuality over such a lengthy period. It provides the evolu- 
tionist with an opportunity of discovering wherein lies the 
strength and also the weakness of the national unit. The weak- 
ness which interrupted national life was the reversion to a multi- 
tribal state when the central government declined in power. The 
first " interruption," which marks the end of the Old Kingdom 
and the beginning of the Middle Kingdom, began in the weakness 
of the sixth Dynasty and was ended by the local Theban chief who 
established the eleventh Dynasty and so restored unity. The 
second interruption, which, like the first, lasted for about two 
centuries, separated the Middle Kingdom from the New King- 
dom ; again unity was restored by a Theban chief— the founder of 
the eighteenth Dynasty. The New Kingdom began strongly, but 
time after time the former weakness reappeared ; disruption was 
succeeded by restoration until the Assyrian conquest of 665 B.C. 
Egypt then entered on her long period of foreign domination ; 
what the Assyrians began was continued / by one Power after 
another — Persian, Greek, Roman, Arab, Turk, and finally 
British. At this present moment (August, 1946) negotiations 
are on foot for a complete withdrawal of British armed forces from 
Egyptian soil. Thus after a lapse of twenty-five centuries Egypt 
resumes her absolute sovereignty — in so far as a nation ,can be 
sovereign in the modern world. 


Readers may have noted that in my definition of a nation at 
the beginning of this essay there was one qualification I did not 
mention — that of sovereignty. Viscount Bryce, 9 for example, 
denied that Wales and Scotland were nations, because they were 
no longer sovereign Powers. Has that fact deprived these peoples 
of their national spirit or even damped it? The opposite is the 
case ; it has tended to strengthen their feeling of difference and 
their determination to nurse their separate national traditions. It 
was so in the case of the Egyptians ; foreign domination never 
destroyed their sense of apartness ; the fellaheen which form the 
body of the nation to-day are the lineal descendants of the fella- 
heen of 3 300 B.C. It is true that the peasants of Egypt have always 
been passive rather than active nationalists ; they have been con- 
tent to follow those in command ; they have never been demo- 
crats. But these limitations do not take away from the nation- 
hood of the Egyptians. They are an inbreeding isolated people; 
they have been so from pre-dynastic times ; they are determined 
to remain so. Every such people is a nation. 

In only one period of the later history of Egypt was there a 
large influx of new blood (or genes). This was in the centuries 
which followed the eviction of the Byzantine and the installation 
of Arab power (a.d. 639-41). An Arab force of less than 15,000 
men succeeded in doing this at a time when the Egyptians num- 
bered several millions. 10 The Egyptians were conquered, not by 
the sword, but by the Koran. As the Egyptians learned to read 
that book they also learned to speak a new tongue — that of the 
Arabs. The Bedouin desert tribes which hovered on the verge 
of the sown lands sometimes gave up their nomadic life, settled 
on the soil and inter-married with the fellaheen. In this way a 
half-million of Arabs were added to the native population. 11 
The process still goes on. So completely have the Egyptians 
become Arabized in mind that they claim (at least their leaders 
claim for them) a place among the Arab peoples. If the mind of 
the Egyptian has been affected, his body seems to have escaped, for, 
as we shall see presently, extensive examinations made by anthro- 
pologists have detected no measurable change in the body. This 
may be due to the fact that the Bedouin, in a physical sense, is not 
unlike the Egyptian. Or it may be that the change effected has 
escaped. detection by the anthropological technique employed. 

Records of the dead have been preserved far more perfectly in 


Egypt than in any other land. Skulls and skeletons have been 
recovered and measured from graves which range in date from 
earliest pre-dynastic times down to the Egyptians buried in the 
period of the Roman occupation. We thus know the physical 
history of the Egyptian nation far more completely than that of 
any other people. Our knowledge of the bodily characters of the 
pre-dynastic Egyptians was first made known to us by Elliot 
Smith ; 12 he found them to have been a slim people of short 
stature (5 ft. 5 in.), with elongated but relatively small skulls. In 
more recent times Dr. G. M. Morant 13 has instituted an elaborate 
comparison of skulls recovered from cemeteries of all parts of 
Egypt and of all dates down to that of the Roman occupation. 
His two main conclusions are these. Down to the Early Dynastic 
period the Lower Egyptians differed from the Upper Egyptians 
by having wider and larger skulls and also bigger faces. He 
found evidence that, as time went on, the type of Lower Egypt 
spread up the Nile and gradually replaced the Upper type. He 
also found that, in a racial sense, the historic Egyptians became a 
homogenous people. 

How do the Egyptians of to-day compare with those of ancient 
times? I shall cite only three authorities. First, the late Dr. 
Charles S. Myers, 14 who collected data among living Egyptians 
at the beginning of the twentieth century. He found the same 
form and size of head prevailing from the delta to the first cataract 
as prevailed in ancient times ; he observed that the skin tended to 
darken and the nose to widen as he passed from Lower to Upper 
Egypt. He compared measurements taken on the living with 
measurements taken on the long-past dead of the same province 
and found the degree of variability to be the same in both. 
Then there are the calculations made by Mr. J. I. Craig 18 
on many thousands of prisoners drawn from all the provinces 
of modern Egypt. Everywhere the mean breadth of the 
head varied from 74 to 75 per cent of the length. One of 
his observations I regard as of particular importance — there is a 
tendency for each province to produce its own particular physical 
type. That I infer to be the result of local inter-marriage. My 
third witness is Professor Sydney Smith, 16 who during his pro- 
fessional residence in Cairo had many opportunities ofxomparing 
the skulls of modern Egyptians with those of pre-dynasti,c times. 
His data forced him to the conclusion that in spite of mimr cranial 


changes, the modern Egyptian had, in a physical sense, reverted to 
the pre-dynastic type — this had happened in spite of all the dis- 
turbance and the influx of strange blood which had occurred in 
the long period of 7,000 years. At the end of that period the pre- 
dynastic type, like Pharaoh's " ill-favoured and lean-fleshed kine," 
had swallowed up and made all of its own kind. Flinders Petrie 
counted the power to assimilate other types to its own as a mark 
of a nation or race. Certainly the Egyptians had this power. 
The matter which arrests our attention, however, is Professor 
Smith's main conclusion. What does a nation profit if it endure 
for 5,000 years and find that at the end of that period it has, in an 
evolutionary sense, gone backwards rather than forwards ? Is the 
reversion a result of the fusion of a myriad of small competing 
groups into one massive national unit? To this problem I shall 
return in a future essay. 

What is the relationship of the Egyptians to other peoples of 
North Africa and to those of S.W. Asia? To obtain an answer we 
have to go back to the later part of the Pleistocene period, when 
climatic conditions were very different from what they are to-day. 
The upland sandy wastes on each side of the Nile were then 
habitable ; so were large areas of Arabia. We have seen (Essay 
XXIV) that in late Pleistocene times the Hamitic peoples of 
Africa were linked, by a series of transitional forms, with the 
Dravidians of India. Thus the Egyptians would be distantly 
related to the peoples of India. Their relationship to the dark- 
skinned, fuzzy-haired Hamitic peoples was nearer and more 
direct. Even to-day they are united to the peoples in the heart 
of Africa by a chain of transitional types lying along the valley of 
the Nile. Perhaps their closest relationship is to the Libyans 
occupying the upland country to the west of the Delta and extend- 
ing along the shores of the Mediterranean. When the uplands 
turned to desert, their inhabitants had to seek homes elsewhere — in 
the valley of the Nile, on the shores of the Red Sea, and along 
those of the Mediterranean. Thus the ancestors of the pre- 
dynastic Egyptians were cut off from other members of their race, 
from the Libyans on the west and the Red Sea peoples on the east. 
But the link with tropical Africa continued. 

In all our speculations concerning the origin of the ancient 
Egyptians there is one circumstance we must not lose sight of. 
This is thf/relationship of their Hamitic speech to that of the Arabs. 


Scholars seem to be agreed that the Hamitic and. Semitic languages 
have been evolved from a common root and that the speakers of 
these tongues must have lived beside each other at one time. To 
obtain a satisfactory explanation we must give our attention for a 
moment to the origin of the Arabs. The solution I offer is this. 
Long before the discovery of agriculture,' even before Egypt was 
separated from Arabia by the Red Sea, when the dark-skinned 
aborigines of Arabia were leading the lives of primitive food- 
gatherers, they were invaded by a Caucasian people frGm the 
north. The invaders interbred with the natives and learned the 
native speech, which I suppose to have been an early form of the 
Semitic tongue near akin to the Hamitic. Thus I regard the 
Arabs as a cross between the original natives of Arabia and a 
branch of the Caucasian stock. Such an explanation has the 
twofold advantage in giving a reasonable explanation of the 
physical characters of the peoples of Arabia, as well as the relation- 
ship of the Hamitic to the Semitic tongues. 

One other circumstance must be considered before coming to a 
final decision concerning the origin of the Egyptians. In Essay 
XXVI I developed the idea that the transformation of 
Neanderthal man into the Caucasian type had taken place in S.W. 
Asia, and that from a centre in Asia the Caucasian stock spread 
westwards, not only into Europe, but also into Africa north of the 
Sahara. If such had been the case — and the evidence in favour is 
strong 17 — then Caucasians may have settled in Lower Egypt 
at a date long prior to the pre-dynastic period. The larger- 
headed type found in Lower Egypt may thus be of Caucasian 


1 Homblower, G. D., Man, 1941, p. 97. 

2 Dawson, Warren H., Sir Grafton Elliot Smith, 1938. 

3 Smith, Sir G. Elliot, The Ancient Egyptians, 191 1. 

4 Morgan, J. De, Recherches sur les Olivines de l' Egypt, 1897. 

6 Fouquet, Dr. D., see preceding reference. AJso Dr. G. M. Morant's 
important article in Biometrika, 1925, vol. 17, p. 1. 

6 Brunton, Guy, Mostagedda and the Tasian Culture, 1937. 

7 Childe, V. Gordon, New Light on the Most Ancient East, 1934. 

8 Clelland, Wendell, The Population Problem in Egypt, 1937. 

9 Bryce, Viscount, " The Rise of Nations " in South America, 1912, 
p. 424. 

10 Thomas, Bertram, The Arabs, 1937. 


11 Murray, G. W , Jour. Roy. Anthrop. Inst., 1937, vol. 57, p. 39; Sons of 
Ishmael, A Study of the Egyptian Beduhi, 1935 ; Line, E. W., The Manners and 
Customs of die Modern Egyptians, 1836, 'Everyman ed., 1908. 

12 See reference 3. 

13 Morant, G. M., see under reference 5. 

14 Myers, C. S. (1873-1946), Jour. Roy. Anthrop. Inst , 1905, vol 55, p. 80; 
1908, vol. 58, p. 99. 

15 Craig, J. I., Biometrika, 1911, vol. 8, p. 66. 

16 Smith, Sydney, Jour. Anat., 1926, vol. 60, p. 121. 

17 Vallois, Henri, Archives de l'Ins(itu( de Pakontologie Humaine, Memoire 13, 
pt. 2, 1934. 



Synopsis. — Why Scotland was chosen to illustrate the process of 
nation-building. Agricola's invasion of Scotland. A national spirit 

manifested by the Caledonians. The tribal territories oj Scotland. 

The origin oj the tribal peoples encountered by Agricoh. First 
settlers. The '' harpoon people." Settlers on the east coast and on 
the west coast during the second millennium B.C. The Celts. The 
coming oj the Irish and the Anglo-Saxons. In the sixth century 
Scotland iv as divided into four kingdoms. By the thirteenth century 
these four kingdoms had become fused into one and the basis of a single 
nation was thus laid. The nationalization of the people tvas com- 
pleted in the eighteenth century. The racial elements which went to 
the making of the Scottish nation. Kation-building in Egypt was 
4,500 years ahead of that in Scotland. Manifestations oj patriotism in 
the thiitecnrh century. The urgejor independence. The author holds 
that independence is not an essential factor in nationality. The 
assimilation oj one nation by another rarely takes place. There is a 
confederation of British nations , but there is no British nation. Tlie 
nature oj nationality. Definition of a nation. In Scotland the clan or 
tribal spirit was transformed into a national spirit. 

From nation-building in Egypt we turn to nation-building in 
Europe. Up to the autumn of 1939 the wide expanse of Europe 
was partitioned into twenty-six national territories, the inhabi- 
tants of each of these territories regarding themselves as not only 
separated from, but also different from, the occupants of all other 
territories. Each nation claimed to be independent of the others ; 
all sought to control their own evolutionary destiny. In a previous 
series of essays * I have given brief accounts of the rise of three 
European nationalities — namely, those of England, Frafe, and 
Germany. In the present essay I propose to trace the origin of 



the Scottish nation, my choice being determined by two con- 
siderations ; first, because what is true of nation-building in Scot- 
land is true of nation-building on the Continent ; second, because, 
having been bom and bred in Scotland, I am familiar with the 
strength and nature of the national spirit of that land, at first hand, 
whereas my experience of nationalism of odier lands has been 
gained later in my life and at second hand. 

In the year 80 of our era Agricola led a Roman army north- 
wards across the Tweed and thus brought that part of Britain now 
known as Scotland into the page of history. 2 Having overrun 
the homelands of five separate peoples or tribes, he reached the 
Forth-Clyde isthmus, where he erected a line of forts. North of 
this- line Scotland was inhabited by Caledonian tribes some 
thirteen or fifteen in number, each having its own territory. In 
the autumn of the year 85 Agricola led his army into the heart of 
the Caledonian country until the Grampians came into full view. 

There, on rising ground, he found the tribal forces of the 
Caledonians drawn up in battle array. He estimated the hostile 
army at 30,000 men and found it was commanded by Galgacus, a 
Caledonian chief. At this stage Tacitus makes Galgacus address 
his troops in a speech which breathes the fierce spirit of national- 
ism, a fact which ought to astonish those historians who are of the 
opinion that the national spirit appeared in Europe for the first 
time in the fifteenth century a.d. Galgacus in his appeal to the 
Caledonians said : — 

" We are the men who never crouched in bondage. 
Beyond this spot there is no land where liberty can find a 
refuge . . . children and relatives are dear to us all. It is 
an affection planted in our breast by the hand of nature. Are 
our wives, our sisters, and our daughters, safe from brutal 
lust and open violation? . . . The Romans by a strange 
singularity of nature are the only people who invade with 
equal ardour the wealth and the poverty of nations. To rob, 
to ravage, and to murder, in their imposing language, are 
.the arts of civil policy. When they have made the world a 
solitude they call it peace. . . . Andshallnotwe,unconquered, 
and u»debased by slavery, a nation ever free, and struggling 
no&v, not to recover but to ensure our liberties, shall we not 
go fjfirth the champions of our country? " 


On the other hand, the speech which Tacitus put into the mouth 
of his father-in-law, Agricola, is a vigorous exposition of the 
Roman policy of conquest, a policywhich involves the destruction 
of local nationalities. In this speech Agricola said : — 

"It is now, my fellow soldiers, the eighth year of our ser- 
vice in Britain. During that time, the genius and good 
auspices of the Roman Empire, with your assistance and 
unwearied labours, have made the islands our own. . . . 
We have carried the terror of our arms beyond the limits of 
any former general; we have penetrated the extremity of 
the land. . . . Britain is discovered, and by the discovery 
conquered. . . . One victory more makes this new world 
our own." 

The extracts, quoted above, from the two speeches bring us in 
touch with the forces which are ever at work in building a people 
into a nation. The appeal by Galgacus proved of no avail ; the 
morning after the battle saw the Caledonian tribesmen in dis- 
orderly retreat, each to his own territory, leaving 10,000 dead on' 
the fatal field. This signal victory proved to be a barren one for 
Rome, for ultimately she found it expedient to leave Scotland 
outside the limits of her empire. 

Scotland, then, in the first century of our era was divided into 
about a score of separate and independent tribal States. We 
have now to inquire into the origin of these tribal inhabitants of 
Scotland. Where did the ancestors of these peoples come from? 
When and how did they reach the country now named Scotland ? 
In seeking to answer these questions we have to remember that 
Scotland — and the same is true of Scandinavia — became fit for 
human habitation with the final retreat of the ice-sheet, an event 
usually assigned to the tenth or twelfth millennium before our 
era began. At that time, and for long after, the Rhine flowed 
northwards along a plane now submerged in the bed of the North 
Sea ; Britain was thus connected with the Continent by a wide 
land bridge. Along the continental as well as along the British 
shores of the North Sea are found many traces of the " harpoon 
people," so named because of the harpoon heads they fashioned 
out of bone. They were people of the Caucasian stock, very 
similar, so far as our limited knowledge of them permcf s_ us to 
go, to the late cave men of Western Europe. The stone -ind'bone 


culture of the harpoon people has been traced across northern 
England and into southern and western Scotland; it has also 
been traced into Norway and Sweden. These rude, savage, food- 
gathering, harpoon people seem to have provided both Scotland 
and Scandinavia with their first inhabitants. Their arrival in 
Scotland is usually assigned to the eighth millennium B.C. 3 
This, too, is the date we have assigned to beginnings of agricul- 
ture on the Iranian plateau. 

Before the dawn of the second millennium B.C., land and sea 
had taken on their present form. The practice of agriculture was 
appearing on the Continent and its inhabitants were increasing 
in numbers ; new homes were in demand. Sea power had be- 
come a factor in the spread of peoples. Early in this millennium 
galleys were crossing the North Sea, and landing fresh settlers 
along the east coast of Scotland from John O' Groats to 
Berwick. 4 These new arrivals, usually spoken of as the " beaker 
people," brought with them their domesticated animals, and a 
knowledge of agriculture ; they were round-headed, being of 
central European derivation. While the eastern lands of Scot- 
land were being thus colonized, its western lands were receiving 
new inhabitants from a totally different source. These new 
settlers in the west came from Brittany, from France, and from 
Spain. 6 Late in the third millennium, and all through the centuries 
of the second millennium, the Irish Sea had become part of a 
shipping lane which continued up the west coast of Scotland to 
Baltic lands. Along this route came the " long-barrow " peoples, 
dark-haired and narrow-headed pastoralists, who effected settle- 
ments at various points, many of them being on the western 
shores of Scotland. Thus eastern Scotland received its new 
settlers from lands lying on the opposite side of the North Sea, 
while western Scotland became the home of peoples from the 
south-western parts of Europe. For long these eastern and 
western colonists remained apart because the central parts of 
Scotland were covered by thick forests. 

. From 800 B.C. onwards the enterprising Celtic-speaking peoples 
of the Continent increased rapidly in numbers and spread as rulers 
into France, Spain, and ultimately to the British Isles. Some 
four or fuse centuries before the coming of the Romans, Celtic 
tribes ir^aded southern Scotland, and gradually spread throughout 
the iand/ giving its inhabitants new rulers, a new speech, new 


arts, both of peace and of war. 6 Such, then, is a brief account of 
the origins of the tribal peoples of Scotland who fought the 
Roman invaders in the first century of our era. 

After the departure of the Romans from Britain at the 
beginning of the fifth century, two additions of the highest 
importance were made to the population of Scotland — one on 
the west coast, the other on the east. We shall take the 
Irish settlement on the west coast first. A long tongue of 
land extends from the south-western part of Scotland (Argyll) 
towards N.E. Ireland. It was at the base of this tongue of 
land on which three tribes from N.E. Ireland settled at the end 
of the fifth century of our era. There is ample evidence of 
intercommunication between Ulster and Argyll for 2,000 
years before this date, but historians are agreed that it was the 
settlement of the Irish Scots at Dalriada at the end of the fifth 
century that brought the Gaelic tongue and Gaelic dominion to 
Scotland. 7 The Scots extended their dominion over the western 
tribes very slowly. The arrival of missionaries from Ireland in 
the sixth century (St. Columba, 521-98) taught the inhabitants of 
Scotland to read the Bible in the Gaelic tongue, and thus prepared 
the way for the extension of the rule of the chief or king of the 
Dalriad Scots. The Koran made the Egyptians speakers of 
Arabic ; the Bible made the inhabitants of Scotland speakers of 

So much for the Irish settlement on the west coast ; we now 
turn to die Anglo-Saxon conquest and colonization on the east 
coast. By the middle of the sixth century the kingdom of 
Bernicia extended from the Tees to the Forth. Thus at this date 
there were four kingdoms in what is now Scotland ; south of the 
Forth-Clyde line there was that of Bernicia on the east, and that 
of the Welsh-speaking kingdom of Strathclyde on the west ; north 
of the Forth-Clyde line was the kingdom of the Celtic Picts on 
the east and the kingdom of the Scots in the west. The hammers 
which beat these four kingdoms into one were provided by the 
royal dynasty of the kings of the Scots. In 1057 Malcolm III was 
crowned at Scone as king of Scotland. But even then the 
Scottish people can hardly be called a nation. A common 
tradition had not then been established. 

There are two important omissions in my list of people which 
went to the making of the Scottish nation — namely, the Norse 


and the Danes. Early in the second millennium the migration 
stream off the west coast of Scotland was directed towards Nor- 
way and the Baltic, but before the end of the ninth century a.d. 
the tide had turned ; the Norse began to colonize Caithness, the 
Orkneys, the Hebrides, and lands along the west coast. The 
threat of a Norwegian domination of Scotland was removed by 
the battle of Largs in the reign of Alexander III (1259-83). The 
victory at Largs was not the only contribution that this king made 
to the unification of Scotland. Under him the English speech of 
southern Scotland became the national tongue, save in the High- 
lands, where heart and tongue remained loyal to ancient tradition. 
He planted feudal lords in tribal territories, hoping thus to break 
up .the clannish spirit of the Highlanders, but in vain. Even at 
the end of the sixteenth century there were still thirty-four clans, 
each loyal to its chief. It required the cruel and brutal practices 
which followed the Jacobite rebellion of 1745 to root out the 
tribal spirit of the Highlanders and to establish a unity of govern- 
ment in Scotland. Even now the Highland spirit is not dead. 

We see, then, from the example of Scotland, how tedious, pro- 
longed, precarious, and cruel the business is of welding a diversity 
of peoples into a single evolutionary unit — that is, into a nation. 
The processes employed to bring about amalgamation have been 
those of statecraft, education, social ostracism, and war. The 
peoples incorporated came from all the countries of Western 
Europe — Norwegians, Danes, Germans, Flemings, Dutch, 
French, and Spaniards in varying proportions, to say nothing of 
the harpoon people, the beaker folk, and the men of the long- 
barrow type. Ireland, too, had made her contribution, and still 
continues to add to it. It is true that all these peoples had under- 
gone a local differentiation in the lands from whence they came, 
and it is customary to speak of them as races, a usage which I shall 
justify in my next essay. But it has to be remembered that all these 
races or peoples are the progeny of one stock — the Caucasian 
— and were so alike in their physical characters that the most 
expert anthropologist cannot distinguish the skull and skeleton of 
one race from those of another. When mingled, as they have been 
in the Scottish nation, it is impossible to say of any given man 
^whether hs is of Celtic or of Saxon origin. It has taken about 
TC.ooQ^ptears to build the Scottish nation. It is worthy of note 
that «ne .^age of national evolution attained in Egypt thirty-three 


centuries before the birth of Christ was reached in Scotland 
twelve centuries after that event. Nation-building in Egypt 
was forty-five centuries ahead of the same process in Scotland. 
What is true of Scotland is also true of all the nationalities of 
Europe ; indeed, in several of the countries of Europe nation- 
building is still at the stage reached by Scotland in the thirteenth 

There can be no nation-building unless all the people of a 
country are imbued with patriotic feelings — feelings which give 
their native land and their fellow-subjects a special place in their 
affections. One other passion, one which seems so irrational to 
the uninitiated, is also essential — a passion which drives them to 
seek the freedom or independence of their country. Earlier in 
this essay I quoted from the patriotic speech attributed to Gal- 
gacus, the Caledonian chief. Let me now quote from a speech 
which George Buchanan (1506-84) imputes to Wallace, the 
heroic leader of Scottish Independence. After the battle of 
Falkirk (1297) Wallace is supposed to have met Bruce, then fight- 
ing on the side of the English invaders, and chides him in the 
following terms: — 

When I saw my countrymen, by your slothfulness, 
destitute of governors and exposed not to slavery only, but 
even to the butchery of a cruel enemy, I had pity on them, 
and undertook the cause which ycu deserted ; neither will I 
forsake the liberty, good, and safety of my countrymen till 
life forsake me. ... I will die free in my country which I 
have often defended ; and my love to it shall remain as long 
as my life continues." 9 

Here we see in Wallace a contest between two of the strongest 
of man's inborn instincts or passions — the passion for life and the 
passion for country and nation; he preferred to die for his 
country rather than to live at ease in England. Strange and 
strong passions are needed for the task of nation-building. Dr. 
Agnes Mure Mackenzie 10 cites an earlier instance of Scottish 
patriotism, this time manifested^by the common people. It is 
recorded that when Henry III of England invaded Scotland in 
1242 "the people came out not fearing death for ,their own 
country." No matter what size an " evolutionary uni\>" may 
be — whether it be only 'a small local group, a large tribe," '"or a 


great nation — it is always animated by the urge of independence, 
of separation from all surrounding units. Only if a nation is 
independent, is it free to work out its untrammelled evolutionary 

Must a people, then, possess complete independence — free 
exercise of sovereign powers — before it can be regarded as a 
nation ? Such was the opinion of Viscount Bryce, who defined 
a nation thus: "Whenever a community has both political 
independence and a distinctive character, recognizable in its 
members as well as in the whole body, we call it a nation. . . . 
It must feel and act as a whole." u He therefore denied that the 
peoples of Scotland and of Wales were nations. This is also the 
opinion of the group of experts who reported on " Nationalism " 
in 1939 ; n they regard a nation as a " political unit " and speak 
of " the Scots and Welsh as having been assimilated in Great 

Now, the power of assimilation is a character of a nation. Let 
us take England as an example ; she takes into her midst natives 
of Scotland, of Wales, and of Ireland, and in two generations 
makes them indistinguishable from true natives. But the assimila- 
tion of one whole nation by another is a very different matter. 
When James VI of Scotland crossed the Tweed to become James I 
of England he united in his person the loyalty and allegiance of 
both the English and the Scots, but the boundary between the 
two nations remained as firmly fixed at the Tweed as in former 
times. The Act of Union (1707), which merged the parliament 
of Scotland in that of England, was a union of " heads," not of 
" hearts "; the national heart of Scotland continued to beat with 
as steady and strong a pulse as before. Under the shelter of 
England national life in Scotland was more secure than it would 
have been had she continued to face a warring world independent 
and alone. The union of Scotland to England is a federation, not 
a fusion. I hold, then, that a nation is much more than a " poli- 
tical unit"; the forces and mental qualities which go to the 
making of a nation are parts of the evolutionary machinery which 
no independent people can by-pass. 

When I say that the sense of nationality is deeply rooted in the 
Scot, I am sneaking of the mass, not of the individual. To make 
my mex-Ang clear I shall use a simile. Every babe is born with 
the desire ind power to suck and is fed on milk ; as it grows up its 


mind, like its body, develops an appetite ; that, too, has to be fed ; 
it is fed on the lore contained in the national tradition. Thus the 
creation of a national spirit requires two factors, a mental factor 
and a material factor, the material factor being the national tradi- 
tion. The outlook and reactions of a whole people could be 
changed only by rooting out the old national tradition and putting 
in its place a new one — a Herculean undertaking. But what is so 
dimcult in the case of the mass is easy in the case of the individual. 
Scotsmen emigrate to the United States, to Canada, to South 
Africa, to Australia and New Zealand, and in the countries of 
their adoption feed on a new national tradition which, in time, 
replaces the old. This is made possible because the emigrant 
carries in him or her an inborn social appetite. 

British passports are issued daily, but is there a British nation? 
Certainly not within the United Kingdom ; here there are only 
English, Welsh, Irish, and Scottish. We are a confederation of 
nations, each wedded to its own national tradition. The only 
peoples which could legitimately claim to be British are the 
nations now developing in Australia, New Zealand, and Canada ; 
the major part of their populations have been derived from all ' 
parts of the British Isles. 

What, then, are the essential characteristics of a nation? It 
would be too wearisome to enumerate the scores of definitions I 
have gathered from standard authorities. I shall therefore confine 
my discussion to points which, in my opinion, give the inhabitants 
of Scotland the right to consider themselves a nation. The Scots 
are a nation because they are conscious of being " members one of 
another " and of being different from the peoples of other lands. 
They are, and always have been, an inbreeding people. They 
have a particular affection for their native land. They are proud 
of their country, of themselves, of their name and fame, and of 
their national emblems. They speak dialects of the same tongue, 
all save a remnant of the Gaels. If their country or its people are 
in jeopardy, or have been made the butt of foreign insult, they 
rally to its defence ; they would give their lives freely to preserve 
the integrity of the land and the liberty of its people. They are 
the heirs and executors of a firmly implanted national tradition. 
They are sharers in a common interest and in a common destiny ; 
they hope and believe that their stock will never die out_. They 
inhabit a sharply delimited territory and claim to^'-They 


have national heroes, national songs, national dances, and national 
music. They have their own courts of justice, their own system 
oflaws, their own churches, their own universities, and their own 
schoolmasters. They are emulative and keenly competitive; 
they are also co-operative. They have the power of assimilating 
strangers into their community and of making those assimilated 
sharers in all their hopes and fears, traditions, customs, and modes of 
speech. They formulate their own public opinion and are sensi- 
tive and subservient to that opinion. The genes or germinal 
units which circulate within the frontiers of their land differ in 
their potentialities from those which circulate in all other coun- 
" tries. The Scottish people form, in a physical sense, a homo- 
geneous community, but only a small proportion of them have 
features which are peculiar to their nation. Such, then, is a list 
of the qualities which give the Scottish people a right to claim 
the status of a nation. Any people possessing these traits is a 
nation not only in a political sense but also in a biological or 
evolutionary sense. " The earlier nations," wrote Ramsay 
Muir, 13 " achieved nationhood, not by theory, but by their own 
instincts and traditions." I am of opinion that nationhood can 
never be achieved by theory, nationgenic qualities he in the 
unconscious region of human mentality. 

It was my intention to trace the transformation of the clan or 
tribal spirit into the national spirit. The late persistence of a clan 
or tribal organization in the Highlands of Scotland provides 
material for such a study. It will be sufficient for my present 
purpose to point out that the map prepared by Dr. James Browne 14 
shows forty delimited small territories, each a statelet, each 
occupied and owned by a clan and ruled by a chief. Every one 
of the characters I have attributed to the Scottish nation was 
exhibited in miniature by each of these local self-governing 
communities. Each was a separate, independent evolutionary 
unit. With the forceful detribalization of the clans, the inborn 
predispositions and instinctive urges of the clansmen, which gave 
allegiance to their chief and nursed the preferential interests of the 
clan, became transferred to the wider circle of the nation. Group 
spirit, tribal spirit or tribalism, national jpirit or nationalism are 
one and tie same thing, with this limiting circumstance — the 
larger t\Te group the more is the spirit spread out and attenuated. 



1 Keith, Sir A., Essays on Human Evolution, 1946, p. 77. 

2 The Historical Works of Tacitus, Everyman ed., vol. 2, p. 347. 

3 Keith, Sir A., New Discoveries relating to the Antiquity of Man, 193 1, p. 422. 

4 Keith, Sir A., " The Origin of the Scottish People," Nineteenth Century and 
After, 1922, vol. 91, p. 819; Turner, Sir William, Trans. Roy. Soc. Edin., 1903, 
vol. 40, p. 547; ibid., 1915, vol. 51, p. 171; Mitchell, Margaret E. C, Proc. 
Soc. Antiq. Scot., 1934, vol. 68, p. 132; Reid and Morant, Biotnetrika, 1928, 
vol. 20, p. 378. 

5 Bryce, T. H., Scottish Historical Rev., 1905, p. 275. 

6 Childe, V. Gordon, The Prehistory of Scotland, 1935; Scotland before the 
Scots, 1946. 

7 Skene, W. F., Celtic Scotland, 1876, 3 vols. ; Browne, James, A History of 
the Highlands and of the Highland Clans, 1852, vol. 4, p. 385; Mackenzie, 
Agnes Mure, The Kingdom of Scotland, 1940; The Foundations of Scotland, 1938. 

8 Johnston and Robertson, Historical Geography of the Clans of Scotland, 
1899, 3rd ed. 

9 Buchanan, George, The History of Scotland, 5th ed., 1762, vol. 1, bk. VIII, 
p. 346. 

10 Mackenzie, Agnes Mure, Times Lit. Suppl., June 2, 1945, p. 271. 

11 Bryce, Viscount, South America, 1912, p. 424. 

12 Nationalism: Report of a Study-Group, 1939, p. 293. 

13 Muir, Ramsay, Nationalism and Internationalism, 1916, p. 86. 
u Browne, James, see under reference given in note 7. 

ESSAY xxxn 


Synopsis. — The confusion resulting from the use of the term " race " 
in two senses. The term was originally given to a lineage group. 
Later it was restricted to distinctive varieties of mankind. " Nation " is 
the- term used to designate the lineal descendants of a local group. For 
an Australian aborigine his tribe is his race. The discovery of agriculture 
brought nations into existence. Nations, although not physically differ- 
entiated from one another, remain apart. "Nation" is defined. The 
sense in which a nation is a race. The translators of the Bible used the 
term " nation " as equivalent to race. Popular usage of the term " race." 
The restrictionoj the term "race" to a differentiated peoplebegan in 1839. 
Huxley's advocacy led to the change in usage being adopted. The 
taxonomic methods of zoology are unsuitable for mankind. The claims 
of the South Irish to be a separate race. The former usage of the term 
" race " should be restored. The twofold meaning of the term " race " 
exemplified. The degree to which nations may be regarded as of 
mixed origin. The homogeneity of the inhabitants of Great Britain. 
Bagehot was of opinion that nation-making had replaced race-making. 
The Egyptians are a race in both senses of that term. The degree 
to which the population of Scotland and of Sweden are physically 
differentiated. A nation is a variety in course of formation. 

In the year 19 19 Mr. John Oakesmith wrote a well-reasoned 
book x to show that race and nation had nothing to do with each 
other — race being one thing and nation quite another. In the 
same year I also published a book 2 which sought to prove that 
race and nation were near akin— that a nation was in reality an 
incipient race. When he wrote, Mr. Oakesmith knew nothing of 
my book ; nor did I know of his. Now, when two men have 
the same^acts before them and are in search of the truth and come 
to diarrfetrically opposite conclusions, it will usually be found that, 
although they have used the same terms, they have attached a 



quite different meaning to these terms. He used the term " race " 
in one sense ; I in quite another, yet each of us could justify our 
usage by an appeal to authority. This twofold use of the word 
" race " — an " incendiary term " Professor Fleure 3 has called it — 
has been, and still is, the source of infinite misunderstanding and 
quarrel. Before I can go into the process of race-making, I must 
first clear up this confusion in the use of the term " race." 

To illustrate this twofold usage let us turn back for a moment 
to a large area of the primal world and note the manner in which 
its primitive inhabitants were broken up into isolated local groups, 
each representing an " evolutionary unit " or, as Bagehot 4 named 
it, " a parish race." Each local group was an inbreeding, isolated, 
closed society, with its own assortment of genes, tracing its origin 
back to a common ancestry. Each group had been winnowed and 
selected in its competition with other groups and in its struggle 
with surrounding conditions. Now, any group, tribe, or nation 
which represents the progeny of a common ancestry is a race in 
the strict meaning of that term. 5 We may, then, legitimately 
apply the term " race " to each local group ; each group was a 
potential race-maker. This is one use of the term" race"; now 
for its other use. All these local groups, working collectively, pro- 
duced a population with a certain assortment of physical char- 
acters which distinguished it from the populations of surrounding 
countries. Now, a people which can be distinguished by its 
physical features is also called a race, but this is a late use of the 
term. 7 Thus the term " race " came to be applied in two senses : 
first, to a local or race-making group — being as it were the loom 
on which the genetic threads were woven — and secondly, to the 
product of evolution — the differentiated people, the woven web. 
In one sense the term refers to an evolutionary process ; in the 
other to an evolutionary product. The difference between Mr. 
Oakesmith and myself was due to his using the term " race " to 
mean a people differentiated in a physical sense — the finished pro- 
duct — while I used it to designate a group or a people involved 
in the process of differentiation. A race, as I see it, is a thing 
which is consciously and vitally alive; race as viewed by Mr. 
Oakesmith and by physical anthropologists is inert, unconscious, 
and passive. My race is passionate ; his is devoid of pcssion. 

As we trace the evolution of mankind towards the present, the 
evolutionary unit grows in size; the local group is replaced by 


the tribe, and then the tribe by the nation. The tribal stage was 
preserved in the continent of Australia up to the latter part of 
the eighteenth century. The native population was divided into 
more than a thousand separate territorial units or tribes. Each 
tribe was a self-reproducing, inbreeding lineage — a " race " in the 
original meaning of that term. Each tribe was a race-making 
unit, but the physical type or types produced by one tribe differed 
in only a slight degree from those of neighbouring tribes. Yet 
the collective action of all the tribes was to fill the continent with 
a population which was physically distinguishable from all other 
peoples of the world. The collective result of the evolutionary 
♦process has given the Australian natives a distinctive appearance 
and won for them the name of " Australoid race." Of the 
existence of such a race the native was ignorant; his living inter- 
ests were centred on his local clan or tribe ; for him his tribe was 
has race. 

In preceding essays I have traced the effects which the discovery 
of agriculture produced in the size of evolutionary units ; tribes 
were replaced by nations. We best realize the effects of that 
momentous discovery if we compare the continent of Europe as 
it is to-day with the continent of Australia as it was at the be- 
ginning of the eighteenth century. The myriad of tribal terri- 
tories of Australia are represented in Europe by twenty-six 
national territories. Some of these territories, such as Great 
Britain, the Soviet Republics, Yugo-Slavia, Czecho-Slovakia, 
Switzerland, and Belgium, are occupied by a confederation of 
nations, so that the total number of nations in Europe may be 
nearer forty than twenty-six. No nation claims to be physically 
differentiated from its neighbours, yet all remain apart and are 
very conscious of their frontiers. They are conscious, too, of 
being different from each other. All are inbreeding, self-repro- 
ducing units; each and all are animated by that complex of 
emotions, feelings, sentiments, and convictions known as 
" national spirit." 

A nation, then, is a separated community reproducing its own 
local types, and in the original meaning of the term is a race. 
Collectively the nations of Europe produce variants of that 
distinctive division of mankind known as the Caucasian race. 
Here, ^gain, we return to the confusion which results from using 
the term " race as a name for the lcrcal national race-making 


unit and the collective evolutionary result produced by these 
units — namely, the Caucasian race. Europeans are indifferent 
as to their Caucasianhood, but they are very much alive to then- 
nationhood. For most Europeans, their nation is also their race. 

If we use the term " race " to indicate a people that is sharply 
differentiated by its physical characters from all other peoples, then 
there are very few nations to which the term may be applied 
legitimately. But if we use it, as I think it should be used, to 
indicate a delimited, inbreeding, self-reproducing community, 
then we rightly, and with advantage, speak of a nation as a race. 
The English translators of the Bible, not hiving the term " race " 
at their disposal, used the term " nation " as a substitute. In the 
tenth chapter of Genesis the Hebrew scribe, after enumerating the 
eleven nations of Palestine who traced their lineage to Canaan, 
son of Ham, ends his account in a verse which was translated in 
the following words : " These are the sons of Ham, after their 
families, after their tongues, in their countries, and in their 
nations." In the strict dictionary meaning of the term these 
nations were " races." 

In current English " race " is still used as a term for nation both 
by the educated and the uneducated. Mr. Winston Churchill, 
who is careful in his use of words, has spoken of the " Irish race " 
and of the " Scottish race " ; the learned historian of Europe, the 
late Mr. H. A. L. Fisher, used the term German " race " ; so did 
J. H. Green. The latter historian also wrote of the English and 
of the Welsh race. Lloyd George, at the zenith of his career, 
claimed a racial status for his own people — the people of Wales. 
Even the great Huxley, who was so strict about limiting the 
term " race " to fully differentiated peoples, relapsed occasionally 
to its original meaning. In 1871 he wrote of " the great faculty 
for physical and metaphysical inquiry, with which the people of 
our race are naturally endowed." 7 " Our race " in this instance 
was the English race. Leslie Stephen, Francis Galton, and Karl 
Pearson speak of the English as a race. Such examples could be • 
greatly multiplied, but enough has been cited to prove that the 
Englishman, when he uses the term " race," has in mind, not a 
people that is marked off by physical traits, but a people that is 
differentiated by its feelings, its modes of thought, its speech, its 
habits and customs, and by its tradition — in brief, by its culture. 

I have been stating the case for those who maintain that " race " 


should be used in its original meaning — namely, as the designation 
of a separated community which is concerned in reproducing 
itself, and so taking part, quite unconsciously, in the great evolu- 
tionary process of race-building. Let me now put up the case, 
as fairly as I can, of those — and they form the majority of anthro- 
pologists — who maintain that the term should be restricted to 
peoples who are so completely differentiated in a physical sense 
that they can be instantly distinguished from each other at sight. 
Linneus (1707-78} did not use the term " race " ; he divided man- 
kind into four " varieties " or sub-species, each occupying a 
continental area. His four sub-species were: Americanus, 
Europaeus, Asiaticus, and Afer (Blacks). Blumenbach (1752- 
1840) did not use the term " race " ; he amended the classification 
of Linneus by substituting the name Caucasian for European and 
added a fifth variety or sub-species to include the Australasian 
peoples. Buffon did not use the term " race " ; he added a sixth 
sub-species. Lawrence, 8 as late as 1834, did not use the term 
" race "; he was a devout and discriminating follower of Blumen- 
bach. The application of physical characters to the definition 
of races is traceable to the year 1839. My authority for this 
statement is the eminent French anthropologist, Paul Topinard ; 9 
up to that date the term " race " had been given to any separate 
people ; it was then resolved that no people could be deemed a 
" race " unless it was distinguishable by its physical markings. 
Prichard (1786-1848), in his learned and still useful five-volumed 
treatise, 10 notes this change in the definition of race, u and, like 
Topinard, was greatly disturbed by it. It was due to Huxley, 
more than to any other man, that physical differentiation was 
made the mark of race. 12 So clear and vigorous was his argu- 
ment and so great was his influence that from 1865 onwards the 
physical definition of race was accepted throughout the anthro- 
pological world. 

Huxley's main contention seemed to be undeniable ; man, 
being a member of the animal kingdom, must be classified by the 
same rules as are applied to animals. Huxley and those who 
followed him forgot that man is a unique animal. In defining 
man Linneus gave as man's chief character — noscete ipsum — the self- 
conscious #nimal. Man differs from all other animals in his use of 
names ; 'he has a name for his individual self and names for all 
those with whom he mixes. He is a conscious animal — con- 


scious first of the family in which he is born, then conscious of the 
local group of which he is a member, and finally conscious of his 
nation and of the name given to it. All other animals except 
man are passive in the hands of the classifier ; but man is a self- 
namer and a self-classifier. For him the accepted name of his 
race is that of his local group, of his tribe, or of his nation. For 
over a century anthropologists have been seeking to impose their 
concept of race on political opinion, but with no result ; the old 
opinion prevails — namely, that a folk or a nation, no matter 
what its physical characters may be, if animated by a sense of 
difference, is a race. It so happened in the late sixties of the 
nineteenth century, when Huxley was devoting his attention to 
anthropological problems, that the people of Ireland were de- 
manding separation from England on the ground of a difference 
in race ; they were a Celtic people, whereas the English were 
Saxons. Huxley, having noted that both peoples were mixtures 
of the same physical types, came to the conclusion that the Irish 
claim was without foundation. " If what I have to say in a 
matter of science," he declared, " weighs with any man who has 
political power, I ask him to believe that the arguments about 
the difference between Anglo-Saxons and Celts are a mere sham 
and delusion." 13 It never occurred to Huxley that he "was 
using the term " race " in one sense, the Irish in quite another. 

Such was the case. The Irish based their claims for separation, 
not on any physical difference, but on a difference of tradition 
and outlook. They were animated by what one may call the 
" race-making " instinct, which ultimately led (1922) the greater 
part of the people of Ireland to secede from the fraternity of British 
nations and to set out alone to work out an evolutionary destiny. 

From what I have written my readers may have received the 
impression that I undervalue the labours of the physical anthro- 
pologist. That is very far from being the case ; I prize the vast 
treasuries of anthropological fact they have gleaned from the 
peoples of all the world. But I do think it a matter of urgency 
that they should give up the use of the term " race " to designate 
a people that is marked off from all others by colour, hair, features 
of face, and head-form, and revert to the term used by the founders 
of physical anthropology — namely, sub-species or variety. 

When I took up the study of anthropology in the- nineties 
of last century, I was an ardent follower of Huxley and was 


convinced that the right meaning to attach to race was the one he 
attached. My doubts were awakened about 1914 when I began 
my inquiries into the origin of the chief varieties — or, to use 
Huxley's words, " the easily distinguishable persistent modifica- 
tions " — of mankind. No matter which of these great divisions 
I chose to study, when I went to their homeland I found them 
broken up into competing units. These units may be only a local 
group, or a tribe of varying size, or a nation, but all of them are 
separate breeding* units, actively engaged in the production of that 
particular variety of mankind of which they form part. To these 
elements of evolving humanity ShirokogorofT 14 gave the name 
of" ethnic unit " ; my name for them is " evolutionary unit " ; the 
name given to such a unit, according to English usage, is " race." 
It was then that I realized that a race was a real live thing and that 
we should never come by an understanding of the problems of 
human evolution until we had restored the term " race " to its 
original meaning. It is the rivalry, competition, and conflict 
between these evolutionary units or races which keep the world 
in a continual state of turmoil. 

In my youth we had in Aberdeenshire a celebrated breed or 
variety of shorthorn cattle ; it was distinguishable at sight, and 
might, therefore, be called a " race " in the Huxleyan sense of that 
term. Where, then, were the representatives of " race " in my 
sense of the term? They were the score of pedigreed herds, each 
sheltered, tended, and segregated in farms scattered over a wide 
area of country. Although all the herds were of one breed, yet 
they differed in being composed of varying strains or lines. Each 
owner or farmer sought to improve his herd by emphasizing this 
point or that; or he might introduce fresh blood to secure this 
end ; he aimed at making his herd superior to those of his fellow- 
breeders. In this sense we may say there was rivalry and com- 
petition between the herds. The collective result of all these 
efforts at race-making in the various farms was the production of 
a distinctive variety of ox — the Aberdeenshire shorthorn. Now, 
the essential and vital element in bringing about this result was 
the herd ; it is the evolutionary unit and corresponds to " race " 
in the breeding machinery of mankind. 

For mag,y a year, and never more than at the present time, 
geneticists and historians have proclaimed aloud that "pure" 
races no longer exist in the world and 'that all peoples are of 


mongrel origin. Let us look into this problem. Karl Pearson 
was in the right when he claimed that " the purest race is the one 
which has been longest isolated, inbred, and selected for the long- 
est period." The local groups — the lineages — into which mankind 
was divided in the springtime of the world may be regarded as 
" pure " races, but even in their case lines were broken when a 
local group nourished, divided into new groups, which as they 
spread abroad absorbed members of neighbouring groups. The 
strangers so absorbed were of the same local breed as the host 
group ; the genes which the host group added to its circulation 
were of a similar coinage to its own. From the very beginning 
the local group or race had this power of incorporating and 
assimilating fresh genes. As evolutionary units increased in size, 
passing from a tribal to a national stage, this power of assimilation 
was practised in ever-widening circles, but the fresh genes incor- 
porated were always those of the same wide area and of nearly 
the same genetic origin. It is true that there exist in the world 
true mongrel or hybrid peoples — that is to say, peoples com- 
pounded out of two diverse varieties of mankind. The progeny 
of such unions differs physically from both paternal and maternal 
stocks and is recognizably different. But the degree of mon- 
grelization met with in Europe is of a more limited kind. Celt 
cannot be distinguished from Saxon by physical marks; when 
they interbreed the mongrel progeny cannot be distinguished 
from that which claims to be pure Celt or pure Saxon. In 
dealing with the origin of the Scottish nation, I touched on all the 
" racial " elements which went to its composition. With the 
exception of the beaker people all were of the same physical 
type; all were of the West European breed. In my own estima- 
tion the inhabitants of the British Isles are, in their physical 
appearance, the most homogeneous and least mongrel-like of 
all the peoples or nationalities of Europe. In this opinion I have 
the support of an expert and impartial witness — Professor Hooton 
of Harvard. He has expressed his opinion thus : " Within the 
British Isles, for example, several different white races and sub- 
races have inbred since the Norman conquest without any vast 
increment of foreign blood. The result is a comparative physical 
homogeneity that almost justifies the statement that a British 
' race ' or sub-race is in process of formation." 15 
I have been discussing the twofold use of the term " race," first 


as meaning a " variety " of mankind, and, secondly, as the designa- 
tion of a " race-making " community, or, in the original meaning 
of the word, a race, in order that I might answer the question : 
"Is a nation a race in the latter meaning of the word?" I 
answer most definitely that it is. A nation is the lineal successor of 
the original evolutionary unit — the local group. But is a nation 
a race-making or raciogenic unit? Here I again cite Professor 
Hooton as a witness. According to him, isolation and inbreeding 
" constitute the 'most potent race-making complex." 16 Both of 
these factors are operative in a nation. 

Walter Bagehot 17 was greatly puzzled about the relation of 
" nation-making " to " race-making " ; he used race as a name 
for. a distinctive variety of mankind. Everywhere he found 
nation-making at work, but nowhere could he find evidence of 
a people assuming a new and distinctive appearance. That was 
because he had not looked at a nation long enough to mark the 
physical changes which do ultimately come into existence. So 
far I have dealt with the origin of only two nations, those of 
Eygpt and of Scotland. Egypt is the oldest of nations ; Scotland 
one of the more recent. Are the Egyptians more sharply differ- 
entiated from neighbouring peoples than the Scottish are from 
neighbouring nations ? Undoubtedly they are. While spending 
the winter 1930-1 in Egypt I devoted myself to the study of the 
external markings of the natives, for I was then, and still am, of 
opinion that as an instrument for " racial " discrimination the 
expert eye is a far more trustworthy guide than any form of 
measuring callipers. I also took every opportunity of examining 
all neighbouring peoples — Arabs, Syrians, Libyans, Turks, and 
Greeks. Before leaving Egypt a particularly favourable oppor- 
tunity gave me a chance of putting my experience to a test. Just 
before the arrival of the Queen of the Belgians in Cairo, regiments 
in a uniform not unlike that of British soldiers and drawn mostly 
from Lower Egypt were stationed along the lines of approach. 
I passed along the lines of standing men, noting mentally those 
who were not distinctively Egyptians in appearance, but might 
be confused with other Mediterranean peoples. I found that 
ninety per cent of the soldiers were distinctively of Egyptian 
appearance. The Egyptian nation, then, could claim to be a race 
in both senses of that term ; race-making had nearly succeeded in 
transforming it into a distinctive variety of mankind. 


I am familiar with the Scottish physiognomy and have had 
many opportunities of testing my ability to recognize it in mixed 
regiments and in mixed assemblies. My experience has taught 
me that not more than five per cent of the Scots can be discrimin- 
ated by their features of face and traits of body. The Scottish 
nation is only a little above zero in the process of physical differ- 
entiation. Those who know Sweden hold that fully fifteen per 
cent of the population is recognizably different from any to be 
found in other populations of Europe. The people of Sweden 
are thus on the way to becoming a distinctive variety of mankind; 
they can claim to be a race in both senses of that term. 

" Varieties," wrote Darwin, 18 " are species in the course of 
formation." The same may be said of nations in a lower degree ; 
they are varieties in the process of formation. 


1 Oakesmith, John, Race and Nationality, 1919. 

2 Keith, Sir A., Race and Nationality from an Anthropologist's Point of View, 

3 Fleure, H. J., Bull. John Rylands's Library, 1940, vol. 24, p. 234. 

4 Bagehot, Walter, Physics and Politics, ed., 1896, p. 70. 

5 The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary gives " race" (15 81) as meaning 
" A tribe, nation or people regarded as of common stock." Webster's 
Dictionary as " A family, tribe, people or nation believed, or presumed, to 
belong to the same stock; a lineage; a breed." 

6 For the restriction of " race ' to a group structurally differentiated, see: 
Topinard, Paul, L'Homme dans la Nature, 1891, p. 24 ; Prichard, J. C, Researches 
into the Physical History of Mankind, 4th ed., 1851, vol. 1, pp. 105-9. 

7 Huxley, T. H., Collected Essays, vol. 6, p. 245. 

8 Lawrence, William, Lectures on Physiology, Zoology and the Natural History 
of Man, 6th ed., 1834. 

9 Topinard, P., see under reference 6. 
10 Prichard, J." C, see under reference 6. 
u See under reference 6. 

12 Huxley, T. H, " On the Methods and Results of Ethnology " (1865), 
included in his Collected Essays, vol. 7, p. 209. 

13 Huxley, T. H., " Forefathers and Forerunners of the British People," 
Anthrop. Rev., 1870, vol. 8, p. 197. 

14 Shirokogoroff, S. M., Social Organization of the Northern Tungus, Shanghai, 
1929, p. 7. 

15 Hooton, E. A., Twilight of Man, 1939, p. 1R8. 

16 Ibid., p. 67. 

17 Bagehot, W., Physics and Politics, 1896, pp. 106, 112, 136. 

18 Darwin, Charles, Origin of Species, 6th ed., 1885, p. 105. 

essay xxxm 


Synopsis. — Lathams classification of the peoples of Europe. The 
taxinomic value of speech. Ripley's Races of Europe. The merits 
and demerits of Ripley s system. Latham saw uniformity in the 
population of Europe; Ripley, diversity. Diversity is of two kinds. 
The face as an index of race. Dr. Coons classification of Europeans. 
The author's conception of the racial composition of the population of 
Europe. The nations of Europe represent its races. The first or 
Palceolithic colonization of Europe by Caucasians. The population 
of Europe in late Palceolithic times; its organization. The second or 
Neolithic settlement of Europe by Caucasians. The number of separate 
communities in Neolithic Europe. The Palceolithic settlers may 
have been absorbed by the Neolithic peoples. The size of communities 
in the last century of the pre-Christian era in Gaul and other lands of 
Western Europe. The rise of national units. Nations have all the 
attributes of" evolutionary units " and are the lineal representatives of 
such units. Nations are races in the original meaning of that term. 
The merits and demerits of large evolutionary units. The relationship 
of evolutionary units to fully differentiated varieties or races of mankind. 

Nearly a century ago an observant and erudite Englishman, 
Robert Gordon Latham (1812-88), published a short treatise 1 
on the peoples of Europe and said this of them: " In no part of 
the world do the differences between the varieties of the human 
species lie within narrower limits than in Europe." In his survey 
he passes from people to people, classifying them into " stocks " 
according to their speech. His " Slavonic stock," for example, 
included the Great Russians, Little Russians (Ukranians), White 
Russians, Bulgarians, Serbians, Bosnians, Croatians, Carinthians, 
Poles, Czechs, and Slovaks. He noted that the Slavs occupied 
more than half the continent of Europe, and in his census 2 gives 
their collective number as 78-6 millions. If Latham had been 



alive now (1946), he would have found that his Slav stock had 
expanded and consolidated its territories and increased its num- 
bers from 78*6 millions to over 200 millions, thus forming almost 
forty per cent of the total population of Europe. Another of 
Latham's main divisions of Europeans was the " Great Gothic or 
Germanic Stock," which included the various peoples of Germany, 
the Scandinavians, the Danes, the Dutch, Frisians, and Anglo- 
Saxons. " As a general rule," he wrote, " the Germanic or 
Gothic stock has not only held its own area but has encroached 
on that of others . . . the converse rarely, if ever, can be shown 
to have taken place." I cite this passage because it reveals 
Latham's interest in the rise and fall of peoples — a matter of die 
highest importance to students of human evolution. His two 
other main stocks were the " Keltic " and the Greco-Latin of Italy. 
Thus Latham's classification of the peoples of Europe was based 
on language — a system which is now rejected by all modern 
anthropologists. This will seem strange to all who are familiar 
with the fact that the chief bond of every living community is its 
speech; a people who live together, marry together, and speak 
the same tongue become a single people, however diverse their 
ancestry may be. It is by their tongue that we trace the diverse 
Slavonic peoples back to a common origin; new peoples and 
tongues evolve hand in hand. Those who refuse to consider 
language as a factor in the classification of peoples point to the 
absurd position which would arise if an African tribe were to 
adopt a European speech ; it might then be mistaken for a tribe 
of Europeans ! The danger of such a mistake, I am sure, is more 
imaginary than real. x 

In 1900 the American anthropologist W. Z. Ripley published a 
work 3 which introduced a new era in the discrimination of race 
in Europe. He held that human beings must be classified by the 
methods applied to all living animals. Europeans, therefore, 
must be grouped according to their physical characteristics, such 
as head-form, colouring, stature, etc. He spoke of " the fusing 
heat of nationality," but held it had nothing to do with " race." 
He therefore rejected from his scheme of classification nationality, 
language, culture, and custom. For him there are but three races 
in Europe ; there is a blond, long-headed race in the lands round 
the Baltic, which he named the Teutonic ; another, long-headed 
and dark-haired, occupies the lands round the Mediterranean, 


forming the " Mediterranean " race ; separating these northern 
and southern races is a third to which he gave the name " Alpine," 
this race being mainly centred on the Alps. The Alpines are dis- 
tinguished by the roundness of their heads — their brachycephaly ; 
in colouring they are, in the main, intermediate to the two other 

Ripley's scheme has the great merit of simplicity ; it is also in 
accordance with fact, for there can be no question that there is 
a great blond area of population in the north-west of Europe, and 
an even more extensive area of deeply pigmented peoples in the 
south, with an intermediate zone separating these two extremes. 
There is, however, one fatal objection to his system — it does not 
work. A perfect classification is one which provides a niche for 
everybody; this is what Ripley's scheme fails to do. For 
example, Ammon 4 measured 1,000 Alpine individuals, but failed 
to find a " pure " specimen; Matiegka 5 examined 102 gymnasts 
drawn from various quarters of Europe and could assign only 
eighteen of them to Ripley's categories ; in the blondest part of 
Sweden Retzius 8 found only eighteen per cent of individuals 
who gave a full display of Nordic or Teutonic characters. Of 
the many thousands of Europeans measured by Professor Hooton 7 
in the United States of America, only one man in ten was assign- 
able to one or other of Ripley's three races. This difficulty in 
assignation has been attributed to a mixing of the three primary 
races in recent times. But the idea that in a past age Ripley's 
three races existed in a separate and pure state is unsupported by 
evidence. Indeed, as I construe the evidence, Ripley's three areas 
of differentiation are only now coming into existence and are 
more distinct to-day than they have been in any previous age. 

It is of interest to contrast the general impression which Ripley 
carried away from his study of the peoples of Europe with that of 
Latham. Latham, as we have seen, was struck by their physical 
homogeneity ; Ripley, on the other hand, was impressed by their 
diversity. Here is his statement: "No continental group of 
human beings, with greater diversities or extremes of physical 
type exists." How did two men come to such opposite con- 
clusions regarding the racial characters of Europeans ? My own 
experience throws some light on the matter. When I first lived 
among Chinese I was struck by their similarity ; as I studied them 
I became aware of their individual • diversity. Latham was 


impressed by the racial similarity of Europeans ; if met with in 
Africa, in Eastern Asia, or in Australasia, the European is recognized 
as different at sight; the only peoples with which he may be 
confused are his Caucasian cousins of Western Asia. Ripley, 
on the contrary, was struck by the individual differences. He 
seemed to forget that every birth produces a unique individual — 
one which has no exact counterpart among the 2,000 millions 
that make up the world's population; one which is different 
from the millions who have gone before or who will come after. 
The face is our chief means of identification: the human face 
lends itself to this purpose because of its variability. Yet, with 
all its variability the face retains what may be called its " racial 
mask." In identifying the races of Europe Ripley attached the 
highest importance to the form of head but rejected the evidence 
of the face. I, on the other hand, regard the characters of the 
face as the safest guide in the discrimination of one race or variety 
of mankind from another. 

Both before Ripley and after him many racial classifications 
have been proposed for Europe, but it is not necessary for me to 
discuss them as they have been summarized in a standard treatise 
recently published by Dr. Coon. 8 From a close study of this 
treatise one is made to realize what a complex business the dis- 
crimination of race in Europe has become in the hands of modern 
anthropologists. In the racial map of Europe compiled by Dr. 
Coon, Ripley's simple conception of three main races is replaced 
by one which involves the recognition of twelve chief racial types 
and of six subsidiary ones besides three others, making twenty-one 
forms in all. Some of these are local ; some are spread over wide 
areas where they are mixed with other types. Practically all 
these types are regarded as of hybrid origin, resulting from the 
union of two or more races which had previously existed in a 
separate state. A European race, according to Dr. Coon, is " a 
compositie amalgamation of peoples thrown together by the 
accident of geography and blended into some semblance of 
homogeneity." 9 Our author has one great merit; although, 
like Ripley, he does not permit nationality or language to enter 
into his scheme of classification, he recognizes to the full that in 
deciding the racial composition of any given nation or people the 
history of that people and the archaeological evidence of their land 
must be given a position of the highest importance. Here we 


have a welcome return to the method of Prichard and of 

Having given a brief account of what may be described as the 
orthodox conception of the racial divisions of the peoples of 
Europe, I now propose to give a concise exposition of my own 
conception — heterodox, I admit in the meantime, but which I 
am persuaded will yet be accepted as orthodox. In the preceding 
essay I have drawn attention to the confusion which has arisen 
from the application of the term " race," first, to a race-making 
group, and second, to a people distinguishable from all other 
peoples because of their physical characters. The authors whom 
I have just cited use the term in the second sense — that of a 
differentiated people — whereas, in the remaining part of this essay 
I shall speak of differentiated groups as " varieties " and use the 
term " race " for the smaller groups in which differentiation is 
being effected. Using the term " race " in the sense just defined, 
my object will be to prove that the only live races in Europe now 
are its nationalities and that these are the lineal successors of the 
evolutionary units of ancient times — of the local group and of the 

The colonization of Europe by groups representing the 
Caucasian variety of mankind began in a phase of the last Ice 
Age, between 60,000 and 70,000 years ago. As outlined in a 
previous essay (XXVI), the Caucasians were probably evolved in 
Western Asia and entered Europe as separate bands over a long 
periodof time. These intruding bands found Europe sparsely occu- 
pied by a distinctive variety of mankind, the Neanderthalians, 
a type which perished soon after the arrival of the colonists. 
The physical differences between the native Neanderthalians and 
the intruding Caucasians were greater than those which separate 
the European colonists of to-day in Australia from the aborigines 
of that continent. They were differences instantly recognizable 
at sight. Hybridization between the natives and colonists of 
ancient Europe may have occurred, but so far not a fossil trace of 
it 'has been found; the fossil skulls found in the Palaeolithic 
deposits of Europe prove to be unmistakably Neanderthalian or 
decidedly Caucasian. Long before the end of the Pleistocene 
period the Caucasian vanguard had reached Western Europe. 
Their fossil remains have been found in the caves of England, of 
Belgium, of France, of Spain, and of Central and South Germany. 


They also lived in the open country, as did the horse-hunters of 
Solutre in France and the mammoth-hunters in Moravia. All 
were dependent on the natural produce of the lands they entered 
and occupied ; they knew nothing of agriculture. Seeing that 
the Caucasians of Palaeolithic times occupied the greater part of 
Europe for many thousands of years, it is surprising that we have 
found the fossil remains of so few of them ; not more than one 
hundred have come to light. All are cast in the Caucasian 
mould, but there were distinctive local varieties, or — in my sense 
of the term — races. The physical type which prevailed among 
the hunters of Moravia differed from that which characterized the 
Cro-Magnon people of France. 10 It is worthy of note that the 
Causcasian pioneers were a big-brained folk. 

In Essay III I have stated the grounds on which we assume that 
primal mankind everywhere and at all times was divided into 
small, isolated, inbreeding groups, each local group or " evolu- 
tionary unit " living on a demarcated territory which it claimed as 
its own. We assume, then, that the Caucasian pioneers of Europe 
were so divided and that each group as it advanced westwards 
and northwards into new lands marked out its territory. A group \ 
which prospered and increased in numbers would in due time 
throw off a new group to continue the westward drive. The 
westward movement must have been attended by competition 
between groups, certain of them being favoured and selected ; 
the groups which ultimately reached the limits of occupation in 
the west and in the north would have been subjected to the greatest 
degree of selection. I shall assume that saturation point in density 
of population had been reached towards the end of the Palaeo- 
lithic period. What would the total population of Europe have 
been at this point? Seeing that so much of Europe was closely 
forested and that there were wide areas of barren heathland, we 
dare not hazard a higher estimate than that of one person to each 
ten square miles of territory. For the purpose of our calculation 
we may take the total area of Europe as four million square miles, 
which, allowing ten square miles for each man, woman, or 
child, gives a total population of only 400,000. If we make the 
further assumption that each local group, taking one with an- 
other, had fifty members, then the total number of " evolution- 
ary units " hi Europe would have been of the order of Sooo, each 
occupying a territory which, on an average, would amount to 


500 square miles. However problematical these estimates may 
be, they do compel us to realize the conditions under which 
evolution was carried on in Europe of Palaeolithic times. 

The colonization of Europe just dealt with was the first or 
Palaeolithic settlement of Europe by people of the Caucasian 
stock. The movement we have now to consider is the second or 
Neolithic settlement of Europe by Caucasians, infinitely more 
important than the first, for it gave Europe the basis of its present 
population. We have seen (p. 283) that early in the fourth 
millennium the Caucasian natives of the Iranian plateau were 
practising agriculture, building villages, and rapidly multiplying 
in numbers. It was this Iranian advance in the mode of living 
which sent the second or Neolithic colonists moving westwards in 
search of new lands to till. The new emigrant bands were grouped 
in tribal village-building communities. By the beginning of the 
third millennium they were on the fertile lands of south Russia, in 
the lower valley of the Danube, in the Balkans, and in Crete. 
Their new settlements were effected on the hunting territories of 
their Palaeolithic predecessors. No doubt they had to fight their 
way westwards. Following diverse routes the Neolithic colonists 
succeeded in the course of five centuries in carrying their mode of 
life to the western and northern shores of the continent The 
picture of life among the early Slav peoples, drawn by Gibbon, 11 
may be applied to the Neolithic colonists of Europe, as well as to 
their successors of later periods. " Four thousand six hundred 
villages," wrote Gibbon, " were scattered over the provinces of 
Russia and Poland. . . . Their huts were hastily built of rough 
timber in the depths of forest or on river bank. Each tribe or 
village existed as a separate republic." Thus there were, on the 
authority of a record quoted by Gibbon, 4,600 " evolutionary 
units " in the eastern half of Europe, and there was probably an 
equal number in the western half of the continent. Europe 
was then a moving mosaic of " parish races." By the middle 
of the first millennium B.C. the population of Europe had so 
increased that the movements of peoples which, in the preceding 
millennia had been towards the north and west, now turned in a 
southerly and easterly direction. 

How far the Neolithic colonists absorbed their Palaeolithic pre- 
decessors is a moot point. Hunting and pastoral peoples are 
difficult to convert to an agricultural way of life. Native peoples 


perished before the advancing colonists of Australia and of the 
United States. In these cases colonists and natives were members 
of contrasted varieties of mankind, but in Europe they were of the 
same great stock ; if there were intermarriages, the progeny would 
be indistinguishable from either parent stock. 

When the light of history breaks upon Europe in the last 
century of the pre-Christian era, enormous changes are found to 
have taken place in the number and size of its evolutionary units. 
Let us consider first the state of matters in France — in ancient 
Gaul. In this area of Europe some 400 tribes or sub-tribes had 
become grouped so as to form about sixty independent States n 
— each representing an evolutionary unit. The size of such units 
varied from fifty thousand to two hundred thousand individuals. 
The same process of fusion of local groups into tribes and tribes 
into " independent States " or nations was taking place all over 
Western and Central Europe. Gibbon gives the number of 
independent peoples hi Britain as thirty: in Ireland tribal fusion 
had given that island about sixteen separate peoples ; the numerous 
tribes of ancient Germany had become united so as to form about 
forty units, many of them large and composite. When the 
Romans entered on the conquest of Spain (133 B.C.), they found 
the population of that country divided into thirty-five independent 
tribes. Even as late as the twelfth century a.d. sixty-four 
" sovereignties " were recognized in ancient Russia. By the 
dawn of the Christian era the population of Europe, estimated to 
have been less than half a million in Palaeolithic times and divided 
into many thousands of small units, had increased hi numbers to 
some sixty millions, but the number of independent territorial 
units had become reduced from thousands to a few hundreds. 

We come now to the consideration of the latest type of evolu- 
tionary unit — that known in modern times as a nation. With 
the collapse of Roman rule in the west and the vain attempts of 
Charlemagne and of the Austrian crown to establish a permanent 
form of imperial rule, the old process of fusion of local popula- 
tions to form larger units reasserted itself. In France, for example, 
a congeries of dukedoms, princedoms, and kingdoms came into 
existence. These became united under one crown ; and with the 
addition of Burgundy the territorial limits of France were com- 
pleted. It is one thing to estabhsh a frontier ; it is quite S different 
and more protracted thing to break down the old local allegiances 


and to bring about their fusion so that all the people within a 
territory become imbued with a common national spirit. The 
democratic spirit which swept through France in the closing 
decade of the eighteenth century speeded up the process of 
nationalization in that country. The union of Spain may be 
dated to 1474, when Ferdinand of Aragon married Isabella of 
Castile, but even to-day the Catalonians and the Asturians 
(Basques) are still dominated by a separatist spirit. England was 
put on the way to unity in the eleventh century by William of 
Normandy ; she was the first modern country in Europe to attain 
nationhood. Holland arose early in the seventeenth century by 
the union of seven provinces. Early in the nineteenth century 
Germany was still divided into thirty-eight independent States; 
in 1933 Hitler, by means of force and flattery, brought all under 
a single government. When Italy was given unity in the nine- 
teenth century, her statesman Cavour said " We have made Italy 
. . . now make Italians." 

It is a noteworthy fact that the peoples who led the way in 
nation-building were those of Western Europe ; the peoples of 
Eastern Europe lagged behind. Indeed, in two countries, in 
Albania and in Montenegro, a tribal organization still continues. 
The Balkan Peninsula was settled by Slav peoples by a species of 
tribal permeation which led, in a country like Macedonia, to an 
intermingling of Serb, Bulgar, and Greek communities, the 
particularist spirit of each frustrating all attempts at a national 

To-day the whole of Europe is sharply demarcated into twenty- 
six national territories, some of them small, others very large. 
Each territory is inhabited by a population which claims to be 
separate and different from all neighbouring populations; all 
claim to be independent sovereign States and responsible for then- 
own evolutionary destiny. All are prepared to sacrifice life to 
secure their sovereignty. Some of these twenty-six national 
territories are occupied, not by a single nation, as are those of 
Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Holland, but by a confederation 
of nations. Such is the case in the British Isles where there are 
five nations ; in Belgium there are two, in Switzerland four, in 
Czecho-Slovakia two, in European Russia three, in Jugo-Slavia 
six. Thus the population of Europe, now estimated at 530 
millions, is divided into some fifty nationalities. 


Do these nationalities represent race-making units ? Are they 
races in the original sense of that term ? Before giving my reasons 
for answering both the questions in the affirmative, let me recall 
the manner in which human evolution has been carried on in the 
past and is being carried on in the present. All advances have 
been made by the process of race-building. In primal times the 
race-building or evolutionary' unit was represented by a small 
local group; each group was in active or passive competition 
with neighbouring groups. As time went on the competing 
groups grew ever larger ; with the introduction of agriculture 
they became large communities ; with the coming of industries 
they became national in size. Thus the nation of to-day is the 
lineal representative of the local group of Palaeolithic times ; nations 
are now the race-making units of Europe. They are not only the 
lineal descendants of ancient evolutionary units ; they have re- 
tained all the mental dispositions of these units. They live in 
separate territories to which they have a particular affection. 
They are animated by the same group or national consciousness ; 
they have an aversion to neighbouring national units ; threats to 
their welfare or to their security evoke a passionate reaction ; they 
are inbreeding communities. For all those reasons I hold that the 
nations of Europe are race-making units or races in the original 
sense of that term. Evolution in Europe is being carried on by 
co-operation within national groups, and by competition between 
them ; thus Europe is in a continuous state of turmoil. 

Is the division of a population into large nations an effective 
way of bringing about profitable evolutionary changes? Large 
units have certain evolutionary advantages and also several grave 
disadvantages. The ancient small inbreeding units gave quick 
and effective results. If the group was blessed with an ample 
number of good genes, thesewere frequently mated, and a strongly 
differentiated community was speedily produced. If, on the 
other hand, it was cursed by evil or recessive genes, these, too, were 
soon mated, and the strength of the group undone. In large freely 
intermarrying communities local communities, with their good 
or their bad genes, tend to be broken up and to become scattered 
in the general population, so that there is less chatnce of the good 
genes meeting with the good or of the bad with the bad. 13 
The rate of evolution in large units is thus slowed down and made 
less determinate in its results. Nevertheless, in spite of free inter- 


marriage in large nations, local race production still goes on. In 
all the countries of Europe which have been fully investigated 
highly differentiated local groups or populations have been found. 
Professor Fleure found them in his survey of Wales, 14 Bryn in 
his elaborate anthropological census of Norway ; 15 they have 
been observed in Germany and in Sweden ; even in the great new 
American nation of the United States. 16 

One important matter still remains for consideration. What is 
the relationship of race-making units to the partially differentiated 
varieties of Europeans ? If we except those of Mongolian affinities 
there is no European people in which every individual is so 
characterized as to be recognizable at sight. Let us take first the 
southern Europeans which make up the Mediterranean variety 
or race of Ripley, hi Neolithic times the population of South 
Europe was broken up into scores of local units or tribes, each of 
which included men and women who had the Mediterranean 
characters developed to a greater or lesser degree. These tribes 
were the race-making units ; their collective result was the pro- 
duction of a regional variety or type — the Mediterranean type. 
That type is now being fostered and its potentialities exploited by 
the nationalities of Spain, of Southern France, of Italy, of Greece, 
and in the Balkans. In a similar manner Ripley's Alpine and 
Nordic varieties or races were brought into being by the col- 
lective working of numerous small, local groups and tribes. 
With the rise of nations these local groups were absorbed into 
national units and, as members of these units, continue their 
race-making tendencies. Nations are the racio-genic units of 

• 1 Latham, R. G., The Ethnology of Europe, 1852. 

2 Latham, R. G., Descriptive Ethnology, 1859, vol. 2, p. 18. 

3 Ripley, W. Z., The Races of Europe, 1900. 

4 Ammon, O., quoted by F. H. Hankins in The Racial Basis of Civilization, 
1926, p. 269. 

5 Matiegka, J., Die Gleickwertigkeit ier Europaeschen Rassen, 1939, p. 59- 

6 Retzius, G.,four. Roy. Anthrop. Inst., 1909, vol. 39, p. 377. 

7 Hooton, E. A., Twilight of Man, 1939, p. 202. 

8 Coon, C. S., The Races of Europe, 1939. 

9 Ibid., p. 279. 

10 Keith, Sir A., The Antiquity of Man, 1925, vol. 1. 
u Gibbon, E., Decline and Fall, ch. XLII. 


12 Hume, D., Essays and Treatises, 1772, vol, I, p. 391; Hubert, H., The 
Greatness and Decline of the Celts, 1934. 

13 DaHberg, G.. Race, Reason, and Rubbish, 1942, p. 186. 

14 Flcure, H. J., and James, T. C, Jour. Roy. Anthrop. Inst., 1916, vol. 4.6, 


15 Bryn, H-, ami Sckreiner, A. £., Die Somatology der Norweger, 1929. 
w Hooton, E. A., Twilight of Man, 1939, p. 211. 



Synopsis. — The subjects to be dealt with are outlined. Nationalism is 
an emotional manifestation. A nation is more than a mere political 
or cultural unit. Nationalism exemplified by the case of Wales. 
The Welsh Nationalist Party. Welsh nationalism is more than 
political. The Welsh nation was brought into existence by a long 
chain of events. Nationalism is not dependent on sovereignty. Politics 
as the handmaid of evolution. Nationalism is a manifestation of the 
ancient group-spirit. The Welsh nation is more than a cultuial unit. 
Evidence of race-building in Wales. Assimilation as a factor in the 
building of nations and races. Nationalism has a greater persuasive 
foue than economics. Underlying nationalism is the fear of absorption. 
Nationalists are unconscious of the ultimate effects of their policies. 
Adam Smith's account of the origin and purpose of nation-formation. 
Race-formation is the essential factor in human evolution. Creation 
and evolution homologated. Nationalism may remain dormant. 
The cosmopolitan mind. The power of nationalism. Its area of 
activities must be circumscribed. The exaggci atetl forms of nationalism 
and the hatred which attends them. National sovereignty. 

The contention put forward in the two preceding essays^-namely, 
that a nation is a race in the original meaning of that term — has 
met with a hostile reception from the vast majority of my anthro- 
pological colleagues. Some of them object on the ground that a 
nation is a man-made community or political unit, 1 whereas a 
race is a natural creation. Others hold that a nation is merely a 
large social group or community which has been separated from 
other groups or nations by a difference of language, a difference 
of tradition, of custom and of education, and has therefore no 
biological or evolutionary significance. 2 These objections I shall 
consider-" now. I shall also raise and discuss certain pregnant 
matters which were merely glanced at .in the preceding essays. 



If nations are simply " political units " or " cultural units," why 
is national life attended by manifestations of that great galaxy of 
emotions, feelings, and modes of behaviour which make up 
collectively the potent force known as nationalism? Why are 
all the crises in national life attended by displays of fervour and 
of passion? " Nationalism," said the historian A. J. Toynbee, 3 
" is concerned with the life and death affairs of nations." All the 
processes concerned in human evolution are attended by highly 
charged emotions and often bellicose behaviour. A political or 
cultural interpretation of a nation leaves nationalism unexplained, 
but if my contention is accepted and a nation is regarded as an 
" evolutionary unit " or race, then national mentality and national 
behaviour fall into place in my scheme of evolution. 

It so happened that on the day this essay was begun (October 
28th, 1946) there was a lively exhibition of nationalism in the 
House of Commons. The Welsh members of Parliament were 
given a special opportunity to discuss the affairs of Wales. In- 
stead, therefore, of considering in the abstract the matters specified 
in the preceding paragraph, let us examine them in the concrete, 
illustrating them by examples provided by the national conscious- 
ness of the people of Wales. In the change-over from a war-time 
to a peace-time economy, unemployment had become rife in 
Wales. The Welsh party criticized the generous plans for the 
restoration of prosperity put forward by the spokesman of the 
Government. He was told that "Wales was united in favour of a 
direct executive control of her own affairs." " English legis- 
lation," he was informed, " was unsuitable for peculiar Welsh 
conditions." " They were a people with a living language of 
their own, with a long history and with their own way of life." 
" The Welsh Nationalist Party," said the representative of the 
University of Wales, " is growing from day to day and is drawing 
in the cream of the Welsh intellectuals." Lady Megan Lloyd 
George complained that " economic necessity was driving young 
men and" women from Wales and seriously weakening the stamina 
of the nation." 

The debate left the House of Commons in no doubt as to the 
strengdi of a national spirit in Wales. The people of Wales are 
keenly conscious of their separateness and of their difference from 
other peoples; they are eager to maintain their integrity, and 
brood over their future cs well as over their past. 


The following incident will serve to illustrate the nature, and 
also the strength of the spirit of nationalism in Wales. In 1937 
three educated Welshmen, one a clergyman, fired and destroyed 
an aerodrome which the British Government had established in 
Carnarvonshire, their plea of justification being that it " en- 
dangered the culture and tradition of one of the chief districts of 
Wales " ; its presence was " an immoral violation of the rights of 
the Welsh nation." When a preliminary inquiry was held in 
Wales, the crowd outside the court sang " Land of my Fathers." 
The prisoners were guilty of the crime of arson, but so blinding is 
the passion of nationalism that no Welsh jury could be trusted to 
bring in a verdict of guilty against men who had committed crime 
in "a cause with which they themselves were in sympathy. The 
prisoners were moved to London, tried by an English judge, 
convicted, and sentenced. The case I have cited is not an isolated 
instance of the partiality of Welsh juries; Judge MacKinnon, 5 
who had a life-long experience of the assize courts of England and 
Wales, said that : " Only in Wales have I come upon juries who 
returned perverse judgments." I do not suggest for a moment 
that the people of Wales deliberately cultivate " crooked justice," 
but simply that they are the victims or subjects of old-time in- 
stinctive urges which, arising below the threshold of conscious- 
ness, bias their judgments and actions in favourof their ownpeople 
and of their own country. A people in the throes of nationalism 
unconsciously adopts two standards of right and wrong, one for 
their fellow-nationals and another for all who are outside the field 
of their activities. 

Such, then, are some of the aspects of the national spirit which 
animates the people of Wales. Can we say that the Welsh 
nation is merely a political unit — a community held together by 
force of government? The answer is plainly — No. There has 
been no deliberate planning in its formation ; the nation has come 
into existence as a result of a long chain of accidents. Cave man 
found his way to Wales in Palaeolithic times ; Caucasians from 
the south-west of Europe effected numerous settlements on its 
coasts in Neolithic and Bronze-Age days ; the Brythonic Celts of 
England imposed their tongue and customs on its inhabitants in the 
fourth century B.C. The frontier that marks Wales off from 
England came into being where Welsh resisters were able to keep 
Saxon invaders at bay. Edward I (1272-1307) carried the Eng- 


fish word, the English tongue, and English barons into Wales. 
It was King Edward who unified the numerous, 6 discordant, and 
inter-warring tribes of Wales into a nation ; he gave them a 
common enemy and a common hatred, and thus a bond of union. 
At the time of the invasion several large tribal confederacies had 
already come into existence, that in the north being under the 
leadership of Llewelyn " openly at the head of their race." 7 
John Richard Green records the death of Llewelyn in these -words : 
" With him died the independence of his race." s Certainly 
independence, sovereignty, and freedom to plan are the dearest 
of all national desires, but Wales is a proof that a national spirit 
may survive and flourish without being technically a sovereign 
power. There are no fortifications mantling the frontier which 
separates Wales from England ; nevertheless it is a real frontier 
along which the pulsating perfervid spirit of the Welsh meets the 
unostentatious but resolute nationalism of the English. 

The national spirit of Wales is based on something deeper than 
mere politics, and yet the Welsh nation has been fashioned by 
politics, and, as we have seen, its representatives in parliament still 
use political means to secure its national welfare and advancement. 
Most of my colleagues rigorously exclude politics from the pur- 
view of anthropology, but in an earlier essay (XI, p. 95) I 
warned my readers that I was " to maintain that politics, the art 
of controlling and regulating the conduct of a community, is part 
of the machinery of evolution." The case of Wales provides an 
occasion of unfolding what I had in mind. " The true political 
spirit,*' said Gladstone, " is the art of nation-making." 9 To 
this I may add a statement by a master anthropologist — Paul 
Topinard — " only peoples are realities." 10 There is abasis of truth 
in Herbert Spencer's opinion that '" politics are never planned ; 
they are forced by circumstances." 11 Thomas Hobbes was well 
aware of the uncertainties which attend the application of politics 
to the life of a nation as illustrated by the following passage : — 

" And because in Deliberation, the Appetites and Aversions 
are raised by foresight of the good and evil consequences and 
sequels of the action whereof we deliberate ; the good or 
evd effect thereof dependeth on the foresight of a long chain 
of consequences, of which seldom any man is able to see the 


The reader will note the special role which Hobbes attributes 
— not to man's reason — but to his " appetites and aversions " 
in the devising of national policies. Another statement by 
Hobbes ^ carries us along the path we are following. " He 
that is to govern a whole nation," he wrote, " must read 
not this or that particular man, but mankind." Politics, then, 
must be based on a knowledge of human nature. Burke defined 
politics as the " management of human nature " ; he held, too, 
" that politics ought to be adjusted, not to human reason only, but 
to human nature." 13 Now, human nature is particularly 
sensitive to one thing — the safety or security of its group, tribe, 
or nation. Nationalism is an active manifestation of human 
nature ; it is instantly roused if its group, tribe, or nation is in 
danger. The spirit which underlies nationalism, then, is not 
something new that came with the formation of large evolutionary 
units, but dates back to that primal period when man became 
conscious, not only of his individual self, but also of the com- 
munity of which he formed part. " Politics," Wallas affirmed, 
" are an exploitation of the subconscious " ; u it would have 
been nearer to reality, I think, if he had written: " The subcon- 
scious — that is human nature — exploits politics for the welfare 
and progress of its own group or race." In brief, politics serve 
now, and always have served, as the handmaid of the evolu- 
tionary process. 

The preceding paragraph, which I have devoted to the part 
played by politics in nation-building and, incidentally, to race- 
building, has carried me away from the straight line of my argu- 
ment. I have been seeking to prove that a nation, as exemplified 
by the people of Wales, is much more than a political unit I 
have now to look into the opinion held by many of my colleagues 
— namely, that a nation has nothing to do with race-building, but 
is simply a population cut off from neighbouring populations 
by having a different and separate cultural heritage. According 
to this opinion a nation is simply a " culture group." Will this 
cultural theory explain the strength and persistence of Welsh 
nationalism? Let us look into the matter. Take the case of a 
child born in Wales ; it is heir to a certain way of life, to a mode 
of speech ; as it grows up it imitates its elders, copies their habits 
and customs, absorbs their beliefs, sayings, and outlook ; it 
adopts their likes and dislikes, including their critical attitude to 


peoples who live in " foreign " parts. As a Welsh lad moves 
towards manhood the great men of his country, both past and 
present, become his heroes ; he becomes keenly conscious of his 
nationality and proud of it. But suppose the parents of this lad 
had moved into England and that he had been born there. What 
would have been the result ? He would have inherited and adopted 
the tradition of England and become indistinguishable from other 
Englishmen save by the name his parents brought with them from 
Wales. Let us now take a reverse case — that of an English family 
which moves into Wales and makes that country its permanent 
home. The children as they grow up become Welsh; they 
absorb the tradition of their new home. Nay, they may become 
ultra- Welsh and become leaders in what is called the Welsh 
movement. As thus stated, the case of Wales seems a complete 
justification of those who hold that nations are peoples separated 
by a difference in culture and tradition. 

If such be the true state of the case, then how are we to account 
for the exuberant national spirit of Wales? Why this keen 
feeling of being different and separate from all other peoples? 
Why their partiality for their own people and their own soil — 
in short, their patriotism? Why this national pride and a sensi- 
tiveness to all that relates to the prestige, status, and honour of 
their country? The vast majority of marriages are between 
families native to the principality. We cannot explain these 
manifestations of nationalism in Wales by a theory that regards 
nations as merely cultural products. For a just solution of our 
problem we have to go deeper ; we have to regard the people of 
Wales as an evolutionary unit, as a race-making group. We 
have seen (Essay XV) that isolation and inbreeding are essential 
conditions for race-production. A people with its own mode of 
speech, with its own traditions and customs, tends to be cut off 
and isolated from surrounding peoples ; a difference in speech 
and culture, then, accelerates the process of nation-building, but 
is not the fundamental factor. We have seen (Essay XI, p. 95) 
how human* nature is organized to maintain and perpetuate the 
isolation between local evolutionary groups by a spirit of an- 
tagonism ,and aversion to neighbouring groups, by practising 
co-operation and amity within its own ranks ; by being emulative 
and competitive towards other groups ; by having one code of 
behaviour for " home affairs " and an opposite code for " foreign 


affairs." All these traits we meet with in the nationalism mani- 
fested by the people of Wales. Nation-building is thus part of 
the process of human evolution. It is the way by which races 
are brought into existence. Green, the historian, was in the right 
when he spoke of the Welsh people as a race. 

If a nation is a race-building community, then we should find 
evidence of it in Wales. In their anthropological survey of the 
Welsh people, Fleure and James 15 found evidence of local 
evolution — of districts or areas where the inhabitants were 
characterized by stature, head-form, and colouring. Some of 
these local communities, especially those occupying coastal areas, 
may be, as Professor Fleure thought, expansions or remnants of 
early settlements of immigrants from France or from Spain. In 
Merioneth, for example, there is a prevalence of that dark-com- 
plexioned, bullet-headed, and robust-bodied Alpine type which 
forms a noticeable component in the population of Wales. 
These local " pockets " are being disrupted by the coal and iron 
industries, which draw the inhabitants of the uplands and of the 
valleys to meet, mix, and intermarry in the towns and cities of 
South Wales. We may look on the industrial settlements of the 
south as national mints, which, having called in the ancient gene- 
coinage, place it in the melting-pot to be issued as a new gene- 
currency. In this way industry has become a factor in human 
evolution, a very powerful factor. There is evidence in Wales 
then, that nations are race-building communities. 

In a preceding paragraph I spoke of the power which a nation 
has of absorbing and assimilating the youth of another nation. 
It is the nature of this power we must now look into. Every 
child born into the world has to learn to walk ; with it is born 
an urge and an aptitude to acquire the art, and this makes the 
acquisition easy. It is also so with speech ; that has to be learned ; 
without an inborn aptitude a child would never speak. Even 
more important, at least for our present purpose, is a third 
aptitude — the inclination, appetite, or hunger for social inter- 
course. It is the exercise of this aptitude that makes a 
child a member of a family and then a member of its com- 
munity. The power which a nation, or a race, has of assimi- 
lating immigrants and of imparting the national tongue, culture, 
tradition/' and spirit to the immigrant young, depends on the 
presence in childhood of this inborn social aptitude. Without 


it no assimilation could take place; no new nation could be 
established. This statement may cause strait-laced anthropolo- 
gists to lift their eyebrows; because it is just this power to 
assimilate outside blood which compels them to deny that a 
nation is a race. I, on the other hand, regard assimilation as a 
part of the process of race-making. We shall see later that 
nations take some care in selecting the kind of immigrants they 
are willing to assimilate. 

In the Welsh debate in the House of Commons, mentioned 
earlier in this essay, it was noticeable that half the members 
advocated a fuller co-operation with the economic life of Eng- 
land to relieve the industrial distress which had fallen on Wales. 
The' more nationalist of the Welsh members rejected this policy, 
although it was manifestly to the advantage of Wales to be a 
participant in the more ample economic resources of England. 
It is said that " money speaks " ; the voice of the nationalist is 
louder and more powerful than the voice of the economist ; 
national self-sufficiency is preferred to economic gain. This 
attitude of mind seems unreasonable to the impartial onlooker. 
How are we to explain it ? This is the explanation I have to offer. 
The nationalist mind is most deeply concerned with the integrity 
and perpetuation of its race ; what is most feared is its death — 
death by absorption ; in the case of Wales absorption by Eng- 
land. In a speech to a Welsh audience, the late Lord Lloyd 
George claimed that five times as many of the inhabitants of 
Wales spoke Welsh now as was the case in the time of Edward I. 
That is true, but he might have added that there were ten times 
as many English speakers in Wales as in King Edward's reign. 
There are upwards of two million in Wales; of these ten 
per cent have only one tongue — Welsh; forty per cent are 
bilingual, speaking English as well as Welsh ; fifty per cent have 
only one tongue — English. Thus ninety per cent of the people 
of Wales speak the tongue of England, and speech serves as a 
carrier of culture. The nationalists of Wales, then, have grounds 
for fearing the death of their race by absorption — absorption by 
the larger and more powerful nationality of England. 

Were I to suggest to Welsh nationalists that they were engaged 
on the ancient evolutionary task of race-building, I know that 
my suggestion would be received with scorn. The feelings which 
nationalism engenders m their minds — an exalted love for their 


country, for its people, for its tongue, tradition, music, and song — 
assures them that they are not engaged on any selfish or mundane 
purpose. Yet it has to be remembered that the characteristic of 
an impulsive or instinctive action is that it is done for a purpose 
of which the doer is unaware. Nationalism belongs to the region 
of the instinctive. " Tribes and Nations," said McDougall, 18 
" work towards ends which no man can foresee." " The 
national will," wrote Bosanquet, " is unconscious of its ends." 
" Nations," reported the Church's Conference, 17 " were created 
by God for the preservation of the heritage of the past ; the nur- 
ture and training of successive generations, and the maintenance 
and improvement of the common life of men." Alongside this 
account of the duties carried out by nations, let me place the 
description of nationalism and the origin of nation-building given 
by Adam Smith in pre-Darwinian days : — 

" We do not love our country merely as a part of the 
great society of mankind — we love it for its own sake, and 
independently of any such consideration. That wisdom 
which contrived the system of the human affections, as well 
as that of every other part of nature, seems to have judged 
that the interest of the great society of mankind would be 
best promoted by directing the principal attention of each 
individual to that particular portion of it which was most 
within the sphere both of his abilities and of his under- 
standing." 18 

In both these accoimts nations are regarded as divine creations, 
but it is Adam Smith who gets to the root of the matter, when he 
traces the machinery of nation-building to " the system of the 
human affections." Throughout this book my main contention 
has been that human nature, which is the " system of human 
affections," has been organized to serve instinctively in the purpose 
of man's evolution, and that this purpose has been carried out in 
the past, and is being carried out in the present, by group com- 
peting with group. Such groups form races, and it is by way of 
race-formation that human evolution is advanced. Nor does 
my conception of nation-building differ so greatly from that held 
by Adam Smith, or even from that expressed by the Church, 
as may appear on the surface. For modern biologists are unani- 
mous in regarding the way of evolution'as being that of creation. 


If we regard a nation as a race-building society, then we can fit 
nations and nationalism into the evolutionary scheme of creation. 

There is one aspect of nationalism I must not omit to mention. 
In the population of large modern cities it may remain latent 
until evoked by national crises, such as those which sweep a 
country in a time of war. The hardest task that educated men 
and women set themselves is to suppress all mental ties with the 
country of their birth and, by rising above all such accidental 
bonds, strive to become stateless citizens of the world. The 
civilized mind sees a gross injustice in being assigned a nationality 
by the circumstance of birth. Happily for most of us, the con- 
stitution of human nature is such that we are convinced that we 
have drawn prizes both in our parentage and in the country of 
our birth. 

It is not necessary for me to consider here the merits and de- 
merits, the good and evil aspects, of nationalism ; they have been 
subjected to a full analysis recently by a body of experts. 19 As 
an anthropologist, I am concerned, not with the ethics of national- 
ism, but only with its potency as an evolutionary agent. In the 
House of Commons, Mr. Winston Churchill, 20 with his eye on 
Germany, described nationalism " as the strongest force now at 
work." Professor Harold Laski, whose outlook is cosmopolitan, 
has spoken of the " profound and irrational impulses of national- 
ism," but, at the same time, recognized " the eager spirit of local 
and functional responsibility." a Another aspect of nationalism 
is that it can work only in circumscribed areas. " Good govern- 
ment," said President Jefferson, " springs from a common interest 
in public affairs, and such common interest is possible only 
when the field of activities is circumscribed." The greater the 
territory the more difficult it is to establish a pervasive spirit of 

I have been discussing what may be called sane nationalism — 
the nationalism which springs from the heart, but is controlled 
by the head. In times of stress nationalism becomes inflamed and 
turns to hate. " The nearer the neighbour the greater the hate " 
(Voltaire). " Every nation," observed Lord Karnes, " hates its 
neighbour without knowing why." 22 I mention this hate- 
component of nationalism now because in the essay which 
follows I am to discuss " racialism," which also has hate as an 
accompaniment. Hate, "it must be remembered, is a double- 


edged weapon ; it serves to unify and strengthen the energies of a 
nation at war, but it also serves to isolate that nation from its 
neighbours. I shall cite only one statement to illustrate the uni- 
versality with which hate attends on nationality, one by the 
political philosopher, Walter Bagehot : 23 " Greece, Rome, 
Judea, were formed apart ; quite their strongest common property 
was their antipathy to men of different race and of different 
speech." Bagehot marvelled over the universality of inter- 
national hatred. . He did not know that it is an exaggeration or 
inflammation of the aversion which kept local groups apart in 
the primal world. 

One other manifestation of exaggerated nationalism is seen in 
the demand made by national communities for an absolute right 
to determine their respective destinies, free from all outside inter- 
ference or control — the right of "sovereignty." National 
sovereignty has wrecked, so far, every attempt to bring all 
nations under a common world government. This matter I have 
discussed elsewhere. 24 


1 See Race and Culture, a Report, issued by the Royal Anthropological 
Institute and the Institute of Sociology, 1935. 

2 Boas, Franz, Race, Language and Culture, 1940. 

3 Toynbee, A. J., Nationality and War, 1915. 

* The passage quoted is taken from a speech made by Lady Megan 
Lloyd George in the House of Commons and reported in The Times, Oct. 
18, 1944. 

6 MacKinnon, Judge, On Circuit, 1940. 

6 For an account of the Provinces and Tribes of "Wales, see Mr. F. A. 
Brooke's The Science of Social Development, 1936, p. 296. 

7 Green, John Richard, A Short History of the English People, 1889, p. 165. 

8 Ibid., p. r68. 

9 Gladstone, W. E., quoted by the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary. 
10 Topinard, Paul, Elements d' anthropologic generate, 1886, p. 207. 

n Spencer, Herbert, Principles of Sociology, vol. 2, p. 394. 

12 Hobbes, Thomas, Leviathan, Everyman ed., p. 3. 

13 Hobbes, Thomas, quoted by Report on Nationalism, see under reference 19. 

14 Wallas, Graham, Human Nature in Politics, 3rd ed., 1929. 

16 Fleure, H. J., and James, T. C, Jour. Roy. Anthrop. Inst., 1916, vol. 46, 

P- 35- 

16 McDougall, Win., The Croup Mind, 1920, p. 6. 

17 For Report of Church Conference see p. 301 of Nationalism : A Report, 
under reference 19. 

18 Smith, Adam, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, 1757, pt. 6, sect. 2, ch. II. 


19 Nationalism : The Report of a Study Group, 1939. 

20 See The Times, April 15, 1933 (when Hitler came to power) 

21 Laski, Harold J , Nationalism and the Future of Civilization, 1932, p 56 

22 Home, Henry (Lord Karnes), Sketches of the History of Man, new ed , 1913, 
vol 2, p 23 

23 Bagehot, Walter, Physics and Politics, 1896, p 204. 

21 Keith, Sir A., Essays on Human Evolution, 1946, Essays VIII, XIII. 



Synopsis. — Racialism is akin to nationalism, but can be distinguished 
from it. Racialism may be homo-ethnic and hetero-ethnic. Racialism 
may lie dormant as in England. Racial pride and a sense of superiority. 
The author proposes to use instances from South Africa to illustrate the 
manifestations of racialism. The extent of the Union of South Africa 
and the diversity of its population. The problem presented by the 
presence of Asiatics. The early settlement of the Dutch. The 
arrival of the British. The attitude of early settlers to native peoples. 
The Boer treks. The Boer War. The formation of the Union in 
1910. Dutch influence reasserts itself more and more in the political 
and social life of the Union. The antagonistic feeling between Briton 
and Boer is one of racialism. The nature of racialism examined. 
The clash in Natal between Indians and British. The love of gain 
has been fruitful in bringing about the mingling of diverse peoples. 
Class exclusiveness is of the same nature as racial exclusiveness. Race 
discrimination. Hybridization as a cure for racialism. Racial fusion 
in Portuguese East Africa. The aversion to hybridization is acquired. 
Regarded as an unthinkable solution by the Whites of South Africa. 

If I am right in regarding nations as races — the thesis maintained 
in the preceding essay — then the group feeling manifested by a 
nation — nationalism — must be of the same nature as that mani- 
fested by a race — racialism. Such is the theme I am to discuss in 
this essay ; I hope to prove that nationalism and racialism spring 
from the same mental source. The essential difference between 
nationalism and racialism concerns territory; nationalism, with 
the antagonism, or even hatred, which so often accompanies it, is 
manifested by peoples, each of whichlives within its own territory ; 
racialism, with its attendant ill-feeling, is manifested by diverse 
and racially-minded peoples who live within the same territory. 
The antagonistic peoples living within the same territory may be 



of two sorts. They may be so alike in a physical sense that the 
one opponent cannot be distinguished from the other by sight ; 
or they may be so different in their physical markings that a glance 
is sufficient to distinguish the one from the other. In the first 
case marriage between parents of the two opposing peoples gives 
a progeny which cannot be distinguished from that of " pure " 
marriages ; but in the second case, where parents are of diverse 
type, marriage results in a progeny which is distinguishably 
different from either parental type and may be disavowed or 
ostracized by one, or even by both, of the parental races. In cur- 
rent speech the term racialism is restricted to the discriminatory 
feelings which arise when clearly differentiated varieties of man- 
kind are brought in contact within the same city, or within the 
same country. It would be convenient to have terms to dis- 
tinguish these two forms of racialism. We might speak of that 
which arises between peoples who are alike in a physical sense as 
homo-ethnic racialism, and that between physically diverse 
peoples as hetero-ethnic racialism. It is hard to distinguish 
psychologically between homo-ethnic racialism and nationalism. 

Racialism, like nationalism, may lie dormant in a people. 
The English people at home, for example, receive visitors from 
abroad, no matter what their colour or features may be, on terms 
of friendship and equality. Yet when an Englishman goes to live 
in the midst of a native population, be he ruler or be he trader, he 
does become conscious of a difference between himself and the 
people with whom he has to mix. A feeling which had been 
dormant at home awakes with the impact made on him by his 
new surroundings. He may be affected also by the spirit of 
exclusiveness which prevails among his compatriots. It has been 
said * that " natives are leaving Northern Rhodesia for the Belgian 
Congo to escape from English exclusiveness." Viscount Bryce, 
a man with a long and intimate experience of peoples and govern- 
ments, put into words what most English officials feel, but seldom 
express : "It needs the tenderness of a saint to extend white 
manners to black compatriots." 2 

Racialism has also another important similarity to nationalism ; 
both are apt to be accompanied by a sense of pride and a feeling 
of superiority. In its sane form a feeling of ability and power is 
an asset for any people; a nation with a just and good conceit of 
itself is a strong nation, It is when national pride grows aggressive 


and intoxicated that it becomes injurious and dangerous. So it 
is with racialism ; within the bounds of mutual respect it works for 
good ; outside these bounds it works for evil. 

In discussing nationalism I placed Wales in the centre of my 
stage to illustrate its manifestations by giving concrete examples. 
To study the moods and tenses of racialism I propose to carry my 
readers to the Union of South Africa. Before beginning our 
survey, there are certain prehminary matters to be noted. In 
Wales we had £o deal with a population of 2-2 millions; the 
white population of South Africa numbers little more than that 
of Wales ; the estimate for 1946 is 2-5 millions, but this population 
is spread over an area nine times that of England and Wales com- 
bined. It is a sparsely-occupied country. The Bantu-speaking 
Negroes are more than three times as numerous as the Whites ; 
they number upwards of seven millions. Most of them still retain 
their ancient tribal organization and are confined to certain areas 
which have been allotted to them. Some have taken to town- 
life, while others are found in small scattered groups throughout 
the Union. Besides the Bantus there are two other distinctive 
African races, both of which appear to be the evolutionary pro- 
ducts of South Africa — the Bushmen and the Hottentots. It is 
estimated that only about 6,000 of the Bushmen now survive ; 
the number of Hottentots is estimated at 80,000. A fifth element 
of the population is represented by the " coloured " people of 
hybrid origin. In them Hottentot, European, and other strains 
are mingled. They number about 700,000. Two other dis- 
tinctive elements in the population of South Africa are of Asiatic 
origin — the Indians and the Malays. The Malays are few in 
number and patient in behaviour; the Indians, on the other 
hand, are assertive and increase in numbers. In the city of 
Durban, for example, they form almost half of the population, 
numbering 110,000 against a white population of i20,ooo. 3 
Thus in the total population of the Union of South Africa, num- 
bering upwards of eleven million, seven distinctive breeds of mankind 
are brought to live side by side to find, as best they can, a way to a 
common corporate life. 

When, in 1652, the Dutch East India Company established a 
victualling station at the Cape for the benefit of their India- 
bound ships, it had no thought of colonizing the land, much less 
the intention of founding a nation. 4 Jan van Riebeck, who had 


been a ship-surgeon, was placed in charge of the station. Soon 
there was friction with neighbouring tribes of Hottentots whose 
pastoral rights were being curtailed. Colonization began in 
1671, when sixty-four Dutch burghers and their families' arrived. 
In 1686 the original colonists had added to their number settlers 
from France (Huguenots) and from West Germany. Inter- 
marriage with natives was forbidden; Dutch was the language 
ordained to be taught in schools. Slaves were introduced at an 
early period. In 1691 the colony had reached the. thousand mark ; 
two-thirds were of Dutch origin; the slaves numbered 340. 
Rather more than a century later, when Britain and Holland were 
engaged in war against France, the Dutch colony at the Cape had 
become 14,000 strong and owned 17,000 slaves. 

In 1806 the British landed an armed force at the Cape and took 
possession; annexation to the Empire followed in 18 14. It was 
claimed that " 27,000 colonists had been added to the Crown." 
These colonists were Dutch peasants or Boers who had conquered 
and occupied the lands which now form the western part of the 
Cape Province. They were a stubborn people, with their own 
brand of nationalism, their own language, their own laws, 
their own religion, and their own mode of life. In two matters 
they were adamant ; they would brook no interference with their 
attitude towards native peoples ; there must be one law for the 
Whites, another for the Blacks; and they refused to free then- 
slaves; they regarded slavery as lawful and also necessary. 

British immigrants began to arrive in 1817, and this was 
encouraged by the Government throughout the remaining part of 
the nineteenth century. English was introduced into the courts ; 
so, too, was English law. Tension between Boer and Briton 
reached breaking-point in 1834, when the Government ordained 
that in the eye of the law White and Black were to be on an equal 
footing ; slaves had to be set free. Rather than submit, the more 
ardently minded Boers treked northwards into the wilds, and 
ultimately established independent republics in the Transvaal and 
in the Orange Free State (1852-4). The annexation of Natal 
in 1848, with the arrival of British settlers there, and also in the 
eastern coastal areas of Cape Colony, helped to strengthen the 
British position in South Africa. 

The turn of the century brought the Boer War — the second 
crisis in the relationship of Briton to Boer. The war left the 


British Government as the supreme power in South Africa. That 
power was handed back to the Whites of South Africa when the 
Union was effected in 1910. From then until the present year 
(1946) Boer influence has dominated the political field more and 
more, the British less and less. In 1914 Afrikaans took an equal 
place with English in schools; in 1925 it was given a similar 
place in government offices. The census of 1926 returned 
fifty-seven per cent of the Whites as of Dutch descent and only 
thirty-four per cent as of British origin. 5 The King's head dis- 
appeared from postage stamps ; the more ardent of the Boer 
nationalists have publicly proclaimed their desire to eliminate 
everything British from public life in South Africa; "British 
subjects " became " union nationals "; the British Flag and the 
British national anthem had to be replaced by emblems or sym- 
bols more in keeping with Boer feelings ; in the list of Governors- 
General Dutch names replaced those of Englishmen. In the new 
white nation of South Africa we see, or seem to see, a rebirth of 
the Boer tradition, of the Boer national spirit with the prospect of 
the absorption and disappearance of all that is dear to the British 

Why should this prospect be viewed with alarm and accom- 
panied by such a depth of feeling and of passion ? What name 
are we to give to the feelings so manifested? If my critics suggest 
that the right name is "nationalism," I can but agree; national- 
ism is the feeling which characterizes a nation in the throes of 
race-making. But it is nationalism being manifested under 
conditions essentially different from this which we have seen to 
exist in Wales. In South Africa we have two nations, physically 
indistinguishable, intermingled, and struggling against each other 
for survival ; nationalism is contending with nationalism within 
the same territory ; the feelings evoked are those connected with 
race-making and provide the basis of racialism. It is the struggle 
for survival between two diverse, but intermingled peoples which 
evokes the feelings known as racialism. 

The rational onlooker may say that this fear of absorption on 
the part of the South African British and death of their nationality 
in the new Commonwealth is an unworthy and evil prejudice 
and should be got rid of. Our problem, however, is to explain 
why this tear should always arise when two intermingled peoples 
are involved in a contest for survival. And we have to seek for 


an explanation of this instinctive fear or prejudice in the ingredients 
which go to the make-up of human nature. The two strongest 
of man's inborn fears are, first, the fear of individual death ; the 
second is the fear of the extermination or death of his family, his 
nation, or his race. It is the fear of racial death which evokes 
the feelings, passions, and antagonisms we call racialism. We 
have sought to prove that perpetuation or survival is necessary if 
a group or race is to work out its evolutionary destiny. Racial- 
ism, then, is a manifestation of our biased evolutionary mentality. 
Moralists may be right in declaring that all such prejudices should 
be consigned to the lumber heap. Here I am not concerned with 
the moral aspects of such prejudices and fears, but merely with their 
existence and with the significance which must be attached to thern. 
By discussing the existence of racialism between peoples which 
are not separated from each other by colour or by distinctive 
physical markings, I have prepared the way for the consideration 
of the clashes which occur in South Africa between peoples who 
are so separated. The first example of " clash " I am to survey 
is that which exists between Whites and natives of India. As 
most of the Hindus are resident in Natal, and are estimated now 6 
to number 250,000, it would be more accurate to say that the 
parties concerned are " Union nationals " of British descent and 
Indians who are, or were, subjects of the British Crown. The 
desire of economic gain, by the importation of cheap labour on 
the part of pioneering generations of Europeans, has been one of 
the more fruitful causes in bringing about the mingling of diverse 
peoples. It was the economic motive which brought the Indians 
to Natal; in i860 die sugar-planters were in need of labour, and 
sought for it in India. Contingents of Hindus arrived under 
contract, but when the period of their indentures had expired, 
finding Natal a pleasant land, they preferred to make a home 
there rather than return to India. They were allowed to acquire 
land and settle down. As they increased in numbers — for their 
birth-rate is twice that of their white neighbours — alarm began 
to seize the resident British. The following extract from a 
communication which appeared in The Times 6 during 1946 wiH 
reveal the kind of antagonism which now marks the relation of 
White-skins to Brown-skins : " So conscious is the European in 
South Africa of the colour bar that the purchase of a house by an 
Indian among Europeans causes properties to depreciate." The 


white nationals of Natal demand that such intrusions should be 
prohibited by law and that their neighbours from India should be 
segregatedfromwhite communities. The head of the Government 
of South Africa (General Smuts) favours communal segregation 
as a solution of racial troubles. 

I must turn aside for a moment from the line of my argument to 
answer a criticism which is certain to be made of the instance just 
given to illustrate race discrimination. My critics will say that 
the fall in the value of city property which attends the intrusion of 
undesirables is an experience with which Europeans are familiar ; 
it springs from class-snobbery, not from racial discrimination. 
In this I agree, but I would remind my readers that in a previous 
essay (see p. 92) I have sought to prove that the mental machinery 
which underlies the formation of class is the same as that con- 
cerned in race-building. The instance cited from Natal differs 
from those which occur in Europe by the classes in Natal being 
separated by a physical diversity ; at birth each is given its racial 
unchangeable livery. 

The Indians in Natal naturally resent the limitations and 
restrictions imposed on them; they demand full political and 
social equality ; their sense of justice is offended by the existence 
of two laws — one for the Whites, another for the Browns. 
Racial discrimination within a people or a nation is attended by 
many evils ; there is the feeling of an enemy in its midst, there is a 
lack of unity. There is also the working of the Christian con- 
science which seeks to eh'minate the colour bar by intermarriage. 
Now, intermarriage between Boer and Briton heals many a 
breach, but intermarriage between Whites and Browns brings 
into existence a third race, a race of half-castes, whose cruel 
and miserable position in a community has been so poignantly 
told by one of them — Cedric Dover. 7 The barrier against 
marriage is maintained, not by the Indians, but by the British 
of Natal. The British as a community reject hybridization as a 
solution of their racial difficulties. Is not their fear of the kind I 
have already mentioned — the fear that hybridization brings with 
it the extinction of their race? Racial pride must also be taken 
into account. 

Let us now cross the northern frontier of Natal and enter Por- 
tuguese East Africa to learn how racial difficulties have been solved 
in that land. The Portuguese arrived in diis territory more than 



a century before the settlement of the Dutch'at the Cape. " No 
European nation," wrote McCall Theal, 8 " has ever treated 
Negroes so mildly as the Portuguese, or been so ready to mix with 
them on equal terms." In the early pioneering times soldiers 
were encouraged to marry natives. The Portuguese ambassador 
to the Court of St. James, when speaking in London in 1939, 
assured his audience that the building up of the Portuguese 
Empire had been crowned by success because " the assimilation 
of natives had been a guiding principle." 9 Another constant 
aim was, and is, " the integration of natives in the national com- 
munity ; thecreation in each colony of a homogeneous community. 
The results, he maintained, justified Portugal in her " abandon- 
ment of the prejudice of racialism." Neither the Portuguese nor 
the Spaniards have ever shown a sensitiveness to race in the govern- 
ing of colonies ; they have been ready to embrace all races with 
an equal ardour. Now, it is impossible to believe that human 
nature has one constitution in Portuguese and another in Britons 
and Boers. Is race prejudice, then, something which is taught, 
something which is learned and is not instinctive or inborn? We 
now return to our survey of the Cape peoples in the hope that we 
may be able to throw light on this important matter. 

Let us first consider the case of the " coloured people," now 
numbering close upon 700,000 and blended intimately in the 
domestic industries of the Cape Province. This distinctive race 
began to come into existence in the early days of the Dutch 
settlement. Robust Europeans, deprived of the companionship 
of their women, and urged by the imperiousness of one of the 
most potent of natural appetites, satisfied their lusts by consorting 
with women of the Hottentot race. From this we learn that the 
sexual passion, when in distress, is no respector of race ; there is no 
inborn sexual racial discrimination. This loose state of social life 
came to an end in 1685 ; the early settlers had been joined by 
women of their own fraternity ; a strong public opinion was 
established ; Dutch-Hottentot marriages were forbidden. Thus 
the danger of hybridity, which at one time threatened the existence 
of the Dutch as a race, was removed, not by any inborn racial 
aversion, but by the establishment of a rigorous and exclusive 
marital tradition. ' - 

In the foregoing paragraph there are a few points which require 
special emphasis. The sex passion is individual in its activities; 


racial exclusiveness is collective in its action ; it is a manifestation 
of the group spirit. Collective opinion secures purity of marriage 
by ostracizing offenders. Yet I am inclined to suspect that sexual 
selection and race exclusiveness are not altogether acquired tastes. 
If the primary races of the world were to be mingled in a country, 
I would expect that " like would to like." The desire for position 
or status, both on the part of the individual and of the group, I 
regard as an inborn predisposition ; Dutch communities succeeded 
in winning a position of superiority in the eyes of the natives of 
the Cape. The desire for status thus plays a part in the building 
up of races. Also, I regard the longing which a father has for the 
perpetuation of his family and of his nation as inborn qualities. I 
must touch again, too, on the merits and demerits of the progeny 
which the mating of diverse races or varieties brings into existence. 
It can hardly be maintained that the hybrid "coloured people" of 
the Cape are the equals of the Dutch, no matter what standard we 
apply in our judgment. 

We now come to the greatest of all the racial problems which 
confronts the Government of the Union. There are upwards of 
seven millions of Bantu Negroes in the Union, three times the 
number of Whites. The Bantus are strong, vigorous, and able- 
bodied ; they are not devoid of a fighting spirit. As most of 
them are still confined to tribal areas and are under the govern- 
ment of chiefs, they lack the collective feeling of nationalism, for 
a manifestation of nationalism "becomes possible only when a 
people has been detribalized and are free to exploit their individual 
lives. The Black has no inborn antipathy to the White as long 
as they are kept apart socially. The attempts which have been 
made by propagandists from without to foment strife between 
Bantus and Cape Europeans have hitherto failed. But conflict 
has arisen when Negroes have broken away from their tribal 
allegiance and made their homes in the poorer quarters of towns 
and cities. In such locations they are brought in contact with the 
poorer Whites which make up about ten per cent of the Euro- 
pean population. The White regards the close proximity of his 
Black neighbours as a threat to his status, or perhaps as a challenge 
to his racial superiority. There is also a sense of rivalry and 
' competition between the members of a poor White community 
and those 1 of a Negro community which passes into animosity and 
hatred. No doubt a difference in colour does exacerbate the 



Synopsis. — A biblical instance of self-determination. A biological 
definition of self-determination. The term is applied to the separation 
of national communities, not to the origin of new groups of tribes. 
Detribalization is a necessary preliminary stage. Self-determination 
is a manifestation of nationalism. The peopling of Ireland. Its 
earliest inhabitants were food-gatherers ; they were arranged in local 
groups. Emigrants arriving during the second and the first millennia 
B.C. brought to Ireland a knowledge of stock-raising and of tillage. 
Possible survival of the food-gatherers. The arrival of a master race — 
the Goidels. They gave Ireland a common speech but not a unified 
government. The number of tribes and of tribal confederacies in Ire- 
land. The inter-tribal struggle led to the formation oflaiger and larger 
tribal combinations. No unifying power ever arose in tribal Ireland. 
A summary of the chief events which converted tribal Ireland into 
national Ireland. The Goidelization of English settlers. Systematic 
attempts at detribalization. The hatred of England became a unifying 
force. National fermentation during the eighteenth and nineteenth 
centuries. The revolution of 1916. Eamon de Valera unfolds the 
policy of self-determination. The attending cultural transformation. 
An evolutionary explanation. The future of Eire. 

In a previous essay (XXXI) I took my readers to Scotland to mark 
the steps which led to the birth of nationalism and of a nation; 
then, in a subsequent essay (XXXIV), I went to Wales to illustrate 
the fears, aspirations, and workings of the national spirit. In this 
essay I propose to discuss another and very important aspect of 
nationalism — that known as the principle or process of " self- 
determination." Since boyhood I have seen this process at work 
in Ireland, culminating in 1922 in the " break-away " of the South 
Irish. In this essay, then, a nation in the throes of self-determina- 
tion is my theme, and Ireland is to supply my illustrative materials. 



Readers will find a biblical example of self-determination in an 
early chapter of Genesis. 1 It is the case of the overgrown 
Abram-Lot pastoral community : — 

" And the land was not able to bear them, that they 
might dwell together. . . . And Abram said unto Lot. . . . 
Is not the whole land before thee ? Separate, I pray thee, 
from me ; if thou will take the left hand, then I will go to 
the right. ., . . Then Lot chose all the plain of Jordan." 

So what had been a single community or tribe, subdivided, each 
unit passing into the world to work out its own independent 
destiny. Such is the process of self-determination. It would be 
more in accordance with my main theme were we to regard the 
Abramic tribe as the original or paternal unit, Lot's people repre- 
senting the self-determiners or seceders. A people, then, which 
separates itself from a parent group, or from a surrounding popu- 
lation, and sets out, trusting to its own right arm for its defence, 
to live apart from all other peoples and " dree its ain weird," has 
undergone the process of self-determination. "Self-determina- 
tion," said Wickham Steed, " is a mystical and ill-defined con- 
cept." 2 To a biologist there is nothing mystical about the act of 
self-determination ; the swarm of bees which comes out from the 
mother hive with their queen to form a new hive or colony 
illustrates the act of self-determination; it is an act of birth which 
brings into being a new and independent social group or evolu- 
tionary unit. The act is attended by a mental disturbance or fever. 
In the earliest stages of human 'evolution, when a small local group 
represented an evolutionary unit, new groups were being con- 
stantly formed by fission or division of the old, but it would be 
pedantic to apply the clumsy term " self-determination " to such 
a simple process. So, too, when the evolutionary unit became 
tribal in size ; new tribes were formed by a budding-offor division 
of older overgrown tribes. The term self-determination is 
properly reserved for peoples who have reached a national stage 
in evolution. In this stage men and women have become free 
from the old tribal bonds and have assumed varying degrees of 
individual responsibility; they have been detribalized. Self- 
determiriation is seen at work only in detribalized communities ; 
the population of an area, speaking a common dialect and carrying 


on a common tradition, come to feel that it is different from sur- 
rounding populations and with that feeling comes the desire for 
separation. When the resolution to separate and form a new 
people or nation passes into action, then we see the principle and 
practice of self-determination in active operation. Self-deter- 
mination, then, is a manifestation of nationalism ; it is attended 
by the birth-throes which herald the formation of a new 

Among my predecessors there has been no one who has under- 
stood the nature and the strength of self-determination so clearly 
as the late Dr. Wm, McDougall. In 1920 he wrote this of it : 
" The desire and aspiration to achieve nationhood is the most 
powerful motive underlying the collective action of mankind." 3 
Its strength lies in the impulses which spring from below the 
threshold of man's conscious self. It is part of the machinery of 
human evolution. 

In the foregoing paragraphs I have given a biological explana- 
tion of what is implied by the term, " self-determination." I 
now turn to my main theme — that of Ireland. How and when 
did this western appanage of Europe come by its inhabitants? It 
seems to have been the last of European lands to become the home 
of mankind. Archasologists 4 are agreed that the earliest traces 
of man in Ireland cannot be dated sooner than 6000 B.C. if so 
early. Somewhat earlier than that date, food-gathering Cau- 
casians had reached northern England and Scotland, and it is 
probable that the first settlers to reach Northern Ireland were 
groups which broke away from the mesolithic people of the 
British mainland. From 6000 B.C. down to a date which we may 
fix arbitrarily at 2200 B.C. our knowledge of Ireland is almost a 
blank, and we have found no certain evidence of new arrivals. 
But seeing how green and fertile Ireland was and is, it must have 
proved a paradise for its earliest inhabitants — the food-gathering 
groups. It is not too much to assume that the groups of early 
settlers speedily increased in numbers, divided, and re-divided 
until they had spread throughout the whole of the island. It is 
not improbable that before the end of the third millennium the 
population of the island had reached the maximum which a fertile 
country can maintain on its natural produce — namely, one soul 
per square mile. The area of Ireland is a little over 32,000 square 
miles ; the population at the end of the food-gathering stage may 


have numbered 32,000 souls — men, women, and children. The 
people were divided into small local groups; some of these 
groups may have been large; others were small; taking one 
locality with another the number in a group may have averaged 
fifty. Each group occupied its own territory. Thus, by the 
end of the food-gathering period Ireland was probably divided 
into over 600 local territories, each occupied by its own commun- 
ity. We may assume, too, that these local communities were in 
active rivalry with each other. 

Towards the end of the third millennium Ireland entered on a 
new phase of her history. Ships laden with emigrants from France, 
Spain, and Mediterranean lands then began to sail up the Irish 
Sea, leaving settlers both on the mainland of Britain and in Ireland. 
These were the pioneers who introduced the art of tillage and of 
stock-raising to Ireland. They were pastoralists rather than 
agriculturalists ; they brought a new and enhanced mode of life to 
their adopted country. These early arrivals came in tribal 
groups, which effected settlements on the territories of the original 
inhabitants, the food-gatherers. What happened to the food- 
gathering Irish is a moot point, but Dr. Coon 5 is persuaded that 
to account for certain characters of the modern Irish — their large 
and long heads, their stature and strength of body, and the light 
colouring of their eyes — it must be assumed that many of the 
primitive natives survived and transmitted to the modern Irish the 
characteristics just enumerated. 

All through the second millennium and far into the first 
millennium B.C., emigrants continued to arrive from S.W. 
Europe; they were joined by others who came directly or 
indirectly from Central Europe. These new arrivals brought 
with them a knowledge of arts and crafts which were new to 
Ireland. Ireland thus acquired the art of working in bronze and 
of fashioning weapons and ornaments in that metal. She became 
famed for her ornaments in gold. Many of her tribes grew large 
and wealthy. She was probably the most populous and pros- 
perous of all the tribal countries of Western Europe in the second 
millennium B.C. 

We now come to one of the most important and yet one of the 
most obscure events in the history of Ireland — the arrival of the 
Goidels, bringing with them their Gaelic speech, which they 
succeeded in making the tongue of Ireland. Their original home 


was certainly in Central Europe, but they are assumed to have 
spread their aristocratic rule into France and into Spain. Tradi- 
tion holds that the Goidels (known also as Milesians and as Scots) 
reached Ireland from Spain, and this may well be true, for the 
sea route from Spain to Ireland was of ancient standing. Some- 
where about 400 B.C. the Goidels invaded Ireland, but where they 
landed and the drawn-out campaigns they fought with resident 
tribes, we know nothing of save that ultimately they succeeded 
in imposing their language from Cork to Donegal. But if this 
conquering people gave the Irish a common speech, it failed to 
give the country a unified government. Tribes remained apart, 
each under its own chief. 

An ancient authority, quoted by Prichard, 6 gave the number of 
tribal confederacies (nations) in Ireland during the third century 
of our era as sixteen, and the number of cities as eleven. This 
estimate tallies very well with records of the fifth century, when 
Christianity reached Ireland, and with ethers made at a later date. 
Brooke 7 has collected data relating to the tribes of Ireland from 
various authorities, and the numbers given by him are the follow- 
ing : There were thirty-five tribes in Ulster, grouped so as to 
form four confederacies; there were thirty in Connaught, 
arranged in three combinations ; seventy-one in Munster, in three 
confederacies, and in Leinster (including Meath), forty-nine 
tribes forming three confederacies. Thus the total number of 
tribes was 185, grouped into thirteen confederacies. 

W<; have seen that the tribes of Germany, France, England, and 
Scotland, before the dawn of the Christian era, had, in their mutual 
struggle^for power and for survival, been compelled to form con- 
federacie^the weaker tribes seeking the protection of the stronger. 
Although Ireland was isolated from the rest of Europe, yet the 
same tendency to the formation of larger units was at work. 
It is also of interest to note that the regional grouping of the 
tribes foreshadows the emergence of the four provinces into which 
Ireland became divided. One has to remember, too, the per- 
petual struggle that went on between tribes and tribal con- 
federacies ; the Irish tribes which reached the seventeenth century 
of our era were those which had succeeded in weathering the tribal 
storms which had swept Ireland for a period of some forty cen- 
turies. Another circumstance has to be kept in mind. The 
Roman occupation and the doming of the Saxons detribalized the 


population of England and gave that country a single dominant 
central government. The Anglo-Saxons detribalized the great 
part of Scotland and gave that country a single government. 
Nothing of this kind happened in Ireland ; her population retained 
its tribal organization until the seventeenth century. It was not 
until then that the population of Ireland reached a national stage in 
its evolution. 

I shall now attempt to summarize, as briefly as I may, the long 
chapter of events which transformed tribal Ireland into national 
Ireland. England, quite unwittingly, forged the Irish into a 
nationality. Our drama begins in the reign of Henry II of 
England (1154-89) and ends in Cromwell's time (1652). The 
fir-st act of the drama took place in 1 1 71 , when Henry sent a force 
of 4,000 men, carried in a fleet of 400 ships, to establish rule in 
Ireland. The province of Leinster was conquered; towns were 
built, Anglo-Norman nobles carved feudal estates out of tribal 
territories, thus replacing native Irish chiefs. Some of the barons 
established themselves in Connaught, others in Munster. English 
individualism proved weakwhen it cameup against thecompelling 
spirit of Irish tribalism. The children of many of the original 
settlers married Irish wives, learned to speak the Irish tongue, and 
replaced English ways of living by those of the natives among 
whom they resided. Many of the heads of Anglo-Norman 
families, instead of upholding the rule of the English king in 
Ireland, became his bitterest enemies. From the invasion of 
Ireland by Henry II until Henry VIII dipped his oar in the troubled 
waters of Ireland (1527) — that is, for a period of three centuries 
and a half— the Goidelization of the English went on. Ultimately 
the greater part of the fresh blood which England poured into 
Ireland during these centuries came to flow in Irish veins. 

A systematic attempt to detribalize the people of Ireland was 
initiated by Henry VIII in 1527, and was pursued with exacerba- 
tions and remissions until Cromwell's time — a period of 125 
years. Henry shrank from clearing the natives off their tribal 
lands and replacing them with settlers fom England. Instead he 
pursued what may be termed a policy of conciliation. Chiefs, 
who held their lands in trust for their tribesmen, were given full 
possession ; they were awarded English titles and English names ; 
they were* tempted to replace their native tongue and the native 
code of law by adopting those of England. " To all this," said 


J. R. Green, 8 " the Celts opposed the tenacious obstinancy of their 
race." In Queen Elizabeth's time this policy of conciliation was 
changed to that of forceful coercion. Large areas of tribal lands 
were confiscated by the Crown ; chiefs and their followers were 
driven from their homes and territories to be replaced by settlers 
from England. Munster was reduced to a wilderness ; the tribes 
of Ulster rose in open rebellion. Men were prohibited from 
using their Irish names. Tribesmen were given tenancies, and so 
encouraged to break away from their chiefs. .In the reign of 
James I the policy of coercion, confiscation, and plantation was 
continued with added vigour. Then came the great Irish rising 
of 1641, with the massacre of English settlers, and finally, by way 
of revenge, the cruel bludgeoning of the Irish by Cromwell in 
1652. At last the tribal bonds of the Irish broke; tribesmen 
became scattered ; detribalization had at last been accomplished. 

" A country," said Gibbon, 9 " is unsubdued as long as the 
minds of the people are actuated by a hostile contumacious 
spirit." That spirit has pervaded the Irish ever since England set 
foot on their country. With the breaking of the tribes the old 
inter-tribal animosities vanished; men were free to join new 
combinations ; a hatred of England served as a force to draw the 
Irish together. All through the eighteenth century a revolution- 
ary ferment was at work coming to the surface from time to time 
in open rebellion. During that century and during the whole of 
the nineteenth there were always three parties in Ireland, the 
extremists, the moderates, and the loyalists. The extremists 
always held an advantage over the other parties in that they were 
prepared to sacrifice their lives to secure their ends and also to 
sacrifice all who were not on their side. 

We may pass at once to the critical event of 191 6 which took 
place in Dublin. Britain was then engaged in a life-and-death 
struggle with Germany ; it was then that a party of revolution- 
aries declared an Irish Republic. After the war the old coercive 
measures were again applied to Ireland. By the end of 1921 
Lloyd George and his colleagues realized that loyalty may be won, 
but it can never be coerced. The Irish were given " Dominion 
Status " ; they obtained the wide degree of independence 
held by the other dominions of the British Commonwealth of 
Nations. "• 

For the first ten years?— that is, from 1922 to 1932 — the Irish 


Free State followed the Dominion pathway with circumspection, 
but in the latter year Eamon de Valera became Prime Minister and 
leader in the Dail, and then the whole policy of self-determination 
began to unfold itself. On coming to power he gave an inter- 
view to a correspondent of the Neiv York Times, 10 whom he 
informed that " he had found the key to Ireland's needs in his 
own heart." Although the son of a Spanish father and born in 
New York (1882), he grew up in Ireland, and as he grew up 
learned to interpret the inner feelings of his revolutionary con- 
temporaries by noting those which passed within his own mind. 
He knew well the workings of the tribal spirit. As soon as he 
was in power he picked a quarrel with the British Government 
over the payment of certain annuities, knowing well that he 
would have the support of every Irish partisan. It was in this 
quarrel that he informed the representative of the British Govern- 
ment that " no sacrifice in the cause of Irish nationalism could be 
too great." The oath of allegiance to the Crown was abolished ; 
the citizens of the Irish Free State were declared to be no longer 
British subjects ; the return of Ulster was demanded. Then, in 
1937, came the culmination of the determinate policy. The 
Irish Free State took the name of Eire; it was proclaimed to be 
" a sovereign independent democratic State with inalienable, 
indefeasible right to chose its own form of government, to deter- 
mine its relations with other nations, and to develop its life, 
political, economic, and cultural, in accordance with its own 
genius and traditions." 11 Thus in the year 1937 the greater 
part of the inhabitants of Ireland separated themselves from 
surrounding peoples and set out as an evolutionary unit to exploit 
the potentialities of their minds and bodies in the light and leading 
of their own genius, and so bring into existence a distinctive Irish 

A people in the throes of self-determination always enacts a 
series of cultural transformations. In this respect Eire conformed 
to the rule. The characteristic quality of all these cultural 
changes is that they serve to isolate an evolving nation from its 
neighbours. Eire at once set out to resuscitate the Erse or 
Gaelic tongue. This was an uphill task. Early in the eighteenth 
century four people out of every five used Irish as their habitual 
tongue, btft during that century English so far prevailed over Irish 
that by 191 1 only one person out of sever, was a speaker of Gaelic. 


Nevertheless De Valera was hopeful that " the enthusiasm which 
won Ireland her independence would succeed in restoring her 
ancient tongue." Teaching in Irish was made compulsory in 
schools, colleges, and universities. All departments of government 
were renamed ; so were streets, squares, post-offices, and railway- 
stations. Beloved and familiar personal Irish names came out in 
spellings unrecognizable to English eyes. It was as if a snowdrift 
had fallen in a night on Ireland and blotted out familiar landscapes. 
There was a campaign against English books because " they did 
injury to the national consciousness." The Gaelic League 12 
thought there was a danger of " our ancient Irish nation sinking 
into a west Britain " — a fear very similar to that of the Welsh 
nationalists (p. 348). Native arts and crafts were fostered; -so 
were drama and literature. Irish games were encouraged ; those 
of English origin were frowned upon. The Irish national flag 
was stripped of every British symbol; the "Soldier's Song" 
replaced " God save the King." 

Such are the ways in which a self-determining nation transforms 
itself. All these changes are isolating in their effects. They serve 
to isolate the Irish from the English-speaking peoples of Britain; 
at the same time the Irish are also cutting themselves off from 
English-speaking America. There is a still greater sacrifice. 
There is a far larger Irish family living outside than inside the 
bounds of Ireland. In the populations of the United States, 
Canada, Australia, and New Zealand there are upwards of ten 
millions who regard Ireland as their ancestral home. By Goidel- 
izing herself Ireland has cut herself off from her emigrant sons and 
daughters. Such are the sacrifices which are willingly made in 
the cause of nationalisation. 

How are we to explain the strange conduct of a self-determinist 
people ? The explanation I offer maybe summed up as follows : — 
Race-building has been, and still is, the mode of human evolution ; 
to form a race, a people must isolate itself and become a nation ; 
a nation is a community engaged in race-building. Underneath 
and supporting these assumptions is the important basal postulate 
— namely, that human nature is so constituted as to carry on 
the process of race-building automatically. As we have seen, 
McDougall regarded the " desire and aspiration to achieve 
nationhood as the most powerful collective action of mankind." 

In this essay, so far as; I have gone, I have sought to forget my 


British nationality and write as an anthropologist. I am now 
to view Ireland from a British point of view. The British Isles, 
of which Ireland is one, has come to be the home of a confederacy 
of nati6ns, that of England greatly exceeding the others in size 
and in power. The safety and security of one of us is the safety 
and security of all of us. We have therefore not only duties 
towards each other as neighbours, but our need for security gives 
us certain rights in the affairs of one another. Such, however, is 
not De Valera's conception of our mutual relationships. In 1934 
he bluntly told Britain " to go out and have nothing to do with 
us ; we don't want to have anything to do with you." 13 In the 
war with Germany (1939-45), when defensive positions in Ireland 
might have been of the greatest service, Britain respected Eire's 
desire for neutrality. In 1939 the defensive needs of Russia were 
somewhat similar to those of Britain. The Government of the 
Soviet Republics demanded from Finland — which was and is an 
independent sovereign nation — ports, airfields, and strong points 
to strengthen her Baltic approaches. Finland refused, but was 
ultimately compelled to yield them to the overpowering force of 
Russian arms. Some day Eire may recognize that Britain deserves 
a mead of praise for the restraint which she exercised in her most 
perilous days. 

There is a weakness in the constitution of Eire which will 
become more manifest as years speed by. She laid her founda- 
tion in hate — hate of England. Hate gave her unity. Now, hate, 
whether exercised individually or collectively, is the most searing 
and exhausting of human passions. Hate is a fire that needs con- 
tinual stoking ; it has to be fed by magnified grievances and deeds 
of ill-will. Sooner or later it burns itself out. When this 
happens in Eire, as happen it will, the small voice of reason and 
the, more urgent call of self-interest may make themselves heard. 
When these things come about Eire's mood may change, and she 
may wish to again take her rightful place in the confederacy of 
British nations. 

11 Genesis XIII, 6. 

2 Steed, Wickham, The Times, Sept. 23, 1944. 

3 McDougall, Wm., The Group-Mind, 1920, ch. XI. 

4 Mov^is, H. L., The Irish Stone Age, 1942; Martin, C. P., Prehistoric Man 
in Ireland, 1935. 

6 Coon, C. S., The Races of Europe, 1939. 


6 Prichard, J. C, Researches into the Physical History of Mankind, 1941, 
vol. 3, p. 138. 

7 Brooke, F. A., The Science of Social Development, 1936, p. 313. 

8 Green, J. H., A Shott History of the English People, 1889, p. 458. 

9 Gibbon, E., The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Everyman ed., vol. 
2, p. 509. 

10 Price, Clair, New York Times Magazine, Sept. 25, 1932. 

11 Statesman's Year-Book, 1946, p. 471. 

12 The Times Literary Supplement, March 10, 1945. 

13 The Times, May 25, 1934. 

essay xxxvn 


Synopsis. — Territory as the usual national bond. The process of 
assimilation. The Jewish bond is not territorial. His sense of 
nationality is mobile. Hesitant opinions regarding the national status 
of the Jews. The author holds that they are a nation and also a race. 
The biblical history of the Children of Israel. Detribalization of the 
Israelites. The contrasted fates of the Ten Tribes and of the Tribe of 
Judah. The evolution of the Jewish sense of race. Jewish mentality. 
The Jews become traders. Armenians and Parsis compared with Jews. 
The Dispersion. Diversity of Jewisli types due to a certain extent to 
mixture of race, but chiefly to the selective changes which the Jews have 
undergone as they spread abroad. The qualities selected and strengthened 
were psychological. Intermarriage with Gentiles was forbidden. 
The Jewish resistance to assimilation weakened under liberal treatment 
and hardened under persecution. 

The nations we have been dealing with so far are held together 
as units by their territories ; take them off their native lands and 
in a generation or two their sense of nationality becomes changed. 
Welsh, Irish, and Scottish families settling in England are soon 
absorbed or assimilated, for not only are the new arrivals in need 
of social contacts with their English neighbours, but these same 
neighbours resent the presence of strangers who keep aloof. 
Thus the process of assimilation is twofold ; there must be a social 
predisposition on the part of the guest people and there must be 
an answering response on the part of the host nation. The Eng- 
lish nation is noted for its assimilative powers; it has absorbed, at 
one time or another, nationals from all the countries of Europe. 
Some nationals are easier of absorption than others ; the Welsh 
and the Scottish are less resistant than the Irish or the Italians. A 
nation destitute of the power to assimilate would be in the 
position of a man whose flesh had lost the power to heal ; in him 
B b 375 


every wound would remain an open sore ; in a nation every batch 
of immigrants would persist as " foreign bodies." 

The Jewish people or nation differs from all the other great 
nations of the world in that their sense of unity is not based on 
territory ; they are bound into a nation by a live " consciousness of 
kind," by a long and continuous tradition, and by a faith which 
is nationalistic as well as religious. Their sense of nationality is 
thus mobile; wherever they go it goes with them. The sense 
of nationality based on territory is, as we have just seen, plastic 
and mouldable. It is otherwise with the Jew's feeling of separate- 
ness; it is adamant or nearly so; it is weather-proof, and has 
brought its people through twenty-five centuries of storm. The 
mobile and resistant qualities of their nationalism have enabled the 
Jews to do an unparalleled thing — to make a peaceful and deep 
penetration of all territorial nations. There is scarcely a town 
of any size in Europe, Western Asia, North Africa, or in the New 
World that has not got its synagogue and its segregated Jewish 
community. Thus Jews differ from other nations in being 
destitute of a homeland and in having their population not massed 
in a single area, but scattered in many thousands of semi-isolated 
groups. We have seen that (p. 372) the Welsh and Irish, as 
nations, fear cultural assimilation with England. The fear of the 
Jews goes deeper than that — they fear the absorption and death of 
their nation by its disappearance in the common sea of humanity. 

Many authorities, both Gentile and Jewish, hesitate to regard 
the Jews as a nation. My friend the late Philip Magnus 1 voiced 
the opinion of many English Jews when he wrote : " They are a 
religious body with precisely the same loyalties and duties to the 
State as other religious bodies." Another learned English Jew, 
Mr. C. G. Montefiore, 2 maintained that the Jewish people isolated 
themselves for the sake of their religion and that their object 
was not the perpetuation of their stock but of their religion. The 
authors of a report on Nationalism 3 give the Jews the status of " a 
distinct ethnic group with group consciousness " and as forming a 
nation in a spiritual sense. The Jewish Encyclopaedia (1901) admits 
that the Jews were a nation, but are now " a religious congre- 
gation." " The Jews," said Mr. Lucien Wolf in 1904, " are a 
religious body perfected by intermarriage." These discrepancies 
of opinion may be explained by the fact that Judaism, like most 
early religions, was designed for the welfare and survival of the 


tribe or group ; Judaism dictates moral, social, political behaviour 
as well as religious observances. " The religion of Moses," wrote 
Gibbon, 4 "seems to be instituted for a particular country as well as 
for a single nation." Judaism is national in its purport. The 
Romans were in no doubt about the matter ; " the Jews were a 
nation; the Christians (recruited from many nations) were a 
sect." 5 " The Jews," wrote Kastein, " are a nation on the march, 
determined, earnest, and fully prepared to make sacrifices." 6 

I have been at some pains to establish the right of the Jews to 
consider themselves as a nation. If a nation then, in the original 
meaning of the term, they are also a race (see Essay XXXII). The 
term " race " made one of its earlier appearances as a designation 
of the Jews. In 1570 this phrase appeared in print : " The race and 
stock of Abraham." 7 The Bishop of Norwich has written : 
" The history itself (the Old Testament) is the incomplete story 
of a small race." Thus, if I am in error in speaking of the Jews 
as a race, I have a precedent and am in good company. Nearly 
all my anthropological colleagues, in England, on the continent, 
and in America- take a zoological view of race (see p. 323), and 
believe that race should be distinguished only by external mark- 
ings, whereas I hold that the primary marks of race arc psychologi- 
cal. Jews have all the psychological characteristics of race. They 
are exclusive, highly conscious of similarity among themselves and 
of being different from all other peoples ; they maintain inbreed- 
ing communities ; they willingly sacrifice their lives to perpetuate 
their kind ; they are a chosen, separated people who have been 
entrusted with a divine mission. According to Kalergi, 8 ex- 
clusiveness, fanaticism, and intolerance are essential elements of 
Judaism; all these are racial qualities. Professor Hankins 9 has 
observed that " the Jews have all the other marks of nationality 
and also a highly developed race consciousness, a sense of racial 
superiority and even of racial purity." Dr. Bram 10 assured the 
New York Academy of Science during its session of 1944 that 
" the tendency to consider the Jews as a race or sub-race rather 
than a religious or cultural minority has been gathering strength 
since the end of last century." That may be true of America; 
it is certainly not .true of Britain. 11 Yet Dr. Bram, had he been so 
inclined, could have claimed support from Professor Ruppin of 
the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who has used the term 
" " race " as applicable to the Jews, explaining that he employs the 


term " not in an anthropological sense . . . but to express 
ethnic homogeneity possessed by people through descent, 
tradition, and common interest." 12 Professor Ruppin and I agree 
that the Jews are a race in the original sense of that term." 

I have stressed the racial mental traits of the Jews ; but even if 
we classify by external marks, which is the zoologist's way, the 
Jews still have claims to a racial status. The most sensitive means - 
of distinguishing one race from another is by sight and ear. 
Weissenberg, 13 who was an anthropologist as well as a Jew, as- 
serted that Russians could identify fifty per cent of Jews by their 
appearance, and that Russian Jews could and did make correct 
identifications of each other in seventy per cent of cases. My 
own experience in British communities leads me to believe I can 
make about forty per cent of correct identifications, but I have 
also to admit that I have mistaken about five per cent of people as 
Jews who turned out to have no Jewish blood in them. Dahl- 
berg, 14 the Swedish biologist, assessed the difference between 
European Jews and Gentiles as being of the same degree as that 
which separates Swedes from Spaniards. My friend Dr. R. N. 
Salaman, 15 who is a man of science and also a Jew, said of the 
south European Jew, the Sephardim, that " the great majority 
may be recognized as Jews by their appearance." Thus, whether 
we use the term race as the zoologist uses it, or in its original 
sense, the Jews are to be regarded as a race. 

The first problem is this — to discover when and where the Jews 
came by their sense of race, a sense so strong that it needs no 
territorial support. Our main source of information is, of course, 
the Old Testament. The Bible and modern anthropology are at 
one as regards the original homeland of the Jews. Abram was 
a Syrian, a derivative of the pioneer people who laid the founda- 
tions of civilization in Babylonia (see Essay XXLX). We must 
note that the Abramic tribe was an inbreeding stock ; ' Abram 
married his half-sister, Nahor a niece, Isaac and Jacob, cousins. 
Later, however, when the descendants of Abram had their abode 
in the extreme south of Palestine, assimilation became a danger. 
We note, in particular, that Judah, on whom we must keep a 
watchful eye, " married native," and so did his son. 

The biblical historian leaves unexplained several important 
matters relating to the sojourn of the Children of Israel In Eygpt. 
He was oblivious to the fact that the Israelites when in Egypt 


were the last link in a chain of peoples extending northwards to 
the west of Jordan as far as Syria. The Medianites, the Amalekites, 
the Edomites, the Moabites, and the Ammonites represented 
links in that chain ; all spoke dialects of the same tongue as the 
Israelites ; Israel claimed relationship with all of them. It seems 
probable, then, that the Israelites entered Egypt, not as members 
of a single family, but as self-contained people. Arab tribes still 
settle on the outskirts of the Egyptian delta and after a stay, move 
off. The Israelites after a prolonged sojourn in Egypt, usually 
estimated at 430 years, again became a desert people. Garstang's 
excavations at Jericho 17 revealed evidence of their crossing the 
Jordan and their conquest of the uplands of Palestine at a date 
which he has fixed at 1400 B.C. The same authority estimates, 
and I agree with him, that the children of Israel, when they 
entered Palestine, could not have numbered more than six or 
seven thousand souls, and that Joshua's fighting force could 
scarcely have exceeded one thousand men. The native popula- 
tion of Palestine, when Joshua invaded it, was arranged in small 
independent States, a cluster of" parish races." The historian of 
the conquest enumerates (Joshua, Chap. 12) thirty-one such States 
which fell to the valour of Israelitish arms. Seeing that the 
total area of Palestine measures only 10,000 square miles, one 
fifth the size of England, and that little more than half of it is fit 
for human habitation, it will be realized how small these native 
States really were. Readers will also perceive how limited were 
the territories allotted to the twelve tribes. 

The Israelites, when they took up their abode in Palestine, 
formed a confederation of tribes ; to become a nation they had to 
undergo the process of detribalization. That was accomplished 
under Saul, David, and Solomon, broadly speaking, between 
1050-950 B.C. The tribe of Judah took the leading part in 
bringing about these tribal changes and in the establishment of a 
central government. Seeing that the Jews sprang from the loins 
of Judah we must give that tribe our particular attention. Its 
territory measured about 2,500 square miles, being of about the 
same area as the county of Devon ; half of its land was mountain- 
ous or desert ; at the height of their power and prosperity the 
Judaeans could never have numbered more than half a million. 
The land t>f Judah provided Palestine with its Kings, Priests, and 
Prophets ; its Children were stubborn, sjifF-necked, and fanatical. 


The first major misfortune to befall the people of Judah was 
the breakaway or secession from them of the ten northern tribes 
(935 B.C.). Two centuries later (738-721 B.C.) the Children of 
Judah saw the ten tribes carried into captivity by the King of 
Assyria and the land planted with strangers. Little more than a 
century elapsed before the Judseans found themselves in the same 
plight ; they were, for the greater part, transported as captives to 
Babylonia (597-582 B.C.). Under conditions of captivity the 
Children of Judah proved themselves to be made of a sterner and 
more obstinate mentality than their brethren of the northern 
kingdom. The Israelites of the north melted away in the foreign 
population amid which they were planted ; they were assimilated 
and disappeared, as a separate people. The southern people (we 
may now speak of them as Jews) maintained their identity among 
the Babylonians; they retained their speech and their customs; 
they cultivated their religion in order to preserve their race and 
maintained their race so that their religion might remain pure 
and uncontaminated. A consciousness of being a separate and 
chosen people, as well as a singular sense of race, enabled the Jews 
to stand up to and resist the strong and seductive assimilative 
power of their Babylonian host. At a later date, when they 
became denizens of every part of the Persian Empire, their sense of 
race preserved them as a people. The Greeks, the Romans, 
the Egyptians warred against their racial stubbornness, but in 

Here, then, we have a record of an event which is almost unique 
in human evolution — the record of the rise of a race of a new kind. 
The race was generated and matured in that confined area of 
Palestine allotted to the tribe of Judah. The tribe was inbred, but 
inbreeding alone will not account for the development of a 
particular form of mentality. There must have been, in the 
original composition of the tribe, men and women rich in feelings, 
passions, and predispositions. The kind of mentality I am 
attributing to the early Judaeans is exemplified by that of Nehe- 
miah, cup-bearer to the King of Persia in the palace at Shushan 
about the year 446 B.C. His friends had brought him sad news as 
to the state of Jerusalem. " And it came to pass when I heard 
these words that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, 
and fasted, and prayed before the God of Heaven." 17 The man 
who behaves thus is not. of ordinary build ; such men hate to 


excess, just as they love to excess. Nehemiah's passion for his 
own people is undeniable. 

In his original home, the Jew was a farmer ; he had his fields 
of wheat and of barley ; he dressed his vines ; but the farmer was 
also a town-dweller. When he spread abroad he chose towns for 
his home, because only in towns could he live in communities of 
his own kind, and so be protected from the assimilative power of 
his host-nation. But how did he gain his ascendancy in trade? 
A modern instance from Spanish Morocco 18 helps to explain how 
he became trader and money-changer. A market sprang up on 
the frontier where the territories of several tribes met and where 
barter exchanges were made. At first a few Jews attended these 
markets, bringing footwear and ready-made garments to be 
exchanged for goods. The tribesmen welcomed them, for they 
despised both trade and trader. Business passed more and more 
into the hands of the Moroccan Jews ; they introduced the use of 
money and became money-changers and bankers. In some such 
way the Jews became traders in the lands of their adoption. In 
Abram's time trade between Syria and Egypt was in the hands of 
Semitic peoples ; 19 in ancient and in medieval times Arab tribes 
were transporters and sellers of goods. 

Two other peoples — the Armenians and Parsis, who share the 
isolating racial mentality of the Jew — also took to trade in the 
period of their dispersion. The Armenian is regarded as an Aryan 
and the Jew as a Semite, but they have so many traits of body and 
of mind in common that the anthropologist, to account for these 
resemblances, feels compelled to trace both back to that highly 
endowed stock, the pioneer founders of Mesopotamian civilization. 
I agree with the following statement which Dr. L.W. Parr 20 has 
made regarding the racial traits of the Armenians : " They possess 
a high degree of racial unity, characterized by social and economical 
traits, even more typical of them than their physique or blood- 
type." The mentality of the Parsis, on the other hand, cannot 
be attributed to an inheritance from Mesopotamia; they were 
Persians of Aryan origin, devout believers in the creed of Zoro- 
aster, which, like the religion of the Jews, served a national as well 
as a religious purpose. With the Mohammedan conquest of 
Persia (641 a.d.) the more devout, the more zealous and fanatical 
fled from^their homes and made their way to India, ultimately 
establishing separate communities in the towns and cities of 


Bombay. 21 They took to trade, maintained their identity, set up 
flourishing communities throughout India, and spread into neigh- 
bouring lands. With the Parsis, as with the Jews, religion and 
race are inseparable. 

The date usually given for the final expulsion of Jews from 
Palestine is 135 a.d., when Hadrian laid Jerusalem in ruins and 
made Judasa a wilderness. But as we have seen, captive Jews 
effected settlements in Babylonia in the sixth century B.C., and 
many preferred to remain there rather than return to Palestine. 
In the fifth century B.C. they had spread throughout the wide 
realms of the Persian Empire, where anti-Semitism raised its 
hoary head for the first time. In the third century Greek colonies 
in Asia Minor gave them an approach to the West and to the 
trading ports of the Black Sea ; in the same century they had settled 
in their thousands in Alexandria and in other towns of Egypt. 
The Roman Empire provided them with an open road to the 
heart of Europe ; in the second century b.c. they reached Rome 
and Italy. Graetz, 22 the Jewish historian, states that " there was 
not a corner of Rome or of Parthia that was without its synagogue 
and its Jewish community " by the middle of the first century A.D. 
He estimates that by that time there were 10,000 Jews in Damascus 
and a million in Egypt ! Thus it will be seen that Jews were 
seeking homes in the established communities of strangers long 
before Hadrian finally wrecked their homeland. By the third 
century a.d. theyhad reached the valley of the Rhine; the eighth 
century found them in Poland and Western Russia. " A cruel 
destiny," writes Graetz, 23 " seemed to be ever thrusting them away 
from their central home . . . the work of God." It was a 
destiny to which they were particularly well fitted by reason of 
their mental equipment. 

It is often said, and truly said, that the Jews are not a race but an 
amalgam of many races, so diverse are their physical typeg» The 
Sephardim or southern Jews are mostly long-headed and dark- 
haired ; the northern Jews are, for the greater part, round-headed 
and usually light brown or ruddy in their hair colouring. How 
are we to account for these differences if all are from the same 
Judaiac stocks? No doubt the early Jews made proselytes ; by 
occasional marriage, both early and late, Jews incorporated genes 
from the peoples among whom they lived ; in this way some of 
their physical traits may be explained. But selective agencies were 


also at work as they formed community after community. We 
have seen (Essay XXII) that when a group or tribe divides, the 
new group or tribe differs from the old in its genetic potentialities. 
When an early Jewish community gave off a band of pioneers to 
form a community in a neighbouring town, the pioneers differed 
in certain qualities from the parent community ; when this new 
community proceeded to form a third, the third differed still 
more from the parent community. It is probable that the Jews 
who reached Poland from the Rhine basin represented a twentieth, 
or even a thirtieth, remove or transplant from the parent colony 
on the Rhine. Thus we expect that the Jews which are farthest 
from the centre of distribution should show the greatest departures 
from the type of Judasa. 

The evolutionary process to which the Jews have been subjected 
has been centred, not on their bodily features, but on their mental 
equipment. The one essential mental attribute which the Jew 
must possess is a living sense of being linked to his own commun- 
ity and of being separated from those of the Gentiles ; without 
this sense he would drown in the Gentile sea. Consider for a 
moment the temptations to which the Jews have been exposed 
and the winnowing or selective ordeal they have undergone in the 
twenty-five centuries which now separate them from their 
ancestors of the captivity. The Jew has his social qualities quite 
as well developed as those of the Gentile ; he is daily tempted by 
the social attractions of his host people, and if he is weak, may fall 
victim to them. The one sin his community will not pardon is 
apostasy to his creed and race. In spite of the execrations of his 
community he may fall in love with, and marry, a woman of the 
Gentiles, and so bring Gentile blood into his race. The mixed 
progeny of such unions is, in due course, subjected to assimilative 
seduction of the host people ; if the hard racial mentality of the 
Jew has not been inherited, then such progeny will be reabsorbed 
by the Gentiles, and thus eliminated from the race. For eighty 
generations the Jews have been subjected to this merciless process 
of psychological selection; unless their racial sense remains 
firm they go down in the Gentile sea. Instead of weakening, the 
Jewish feeling of separateness seems to grow stronger as time goes 
on. Among the Gentiles a sense of nationalism is also becoming 
more aggressive. 

I have had occasion to cite the rnentality of Nehemiah as 


typical of the Jew. It will further my argument if I now quote 
his condemnation of mixed marriages. " In these days also I saw 
Jews who had married wives of Ashdod, of Amnion, and of Moab. 
And their children spoke half in the speech of Ashdod, and could 
not speak in the Jews' language. And I contended with them and 
cursed them and smote certain of them." 24 It was Ezra's con- 
viction that these foreign marriages brought " the fierce wrath of 
God " on the chosen people. 25 

The more that Gentile nations emancipated their Jewish citizens 
— the more they extended to them civil, social, and religious 
freedom — the greater was the number of Jews who fell victim to 
the process of Assimilation. On the other hand, the more they 
were discriminated against — the fiercer the prosecution and the- 
more the anti-Semitic spirit became rampant — the closer became 
their ranks and the more defiant their spirit. Jews who had 
become indifferent to their religion or had abandoned it, and were 
on the point of giving up the Semitic struggle, rallied to their race 
when it was threatened by a crisis. I will call but one Jewish 
witness in support of this. In his last testament, which the French 
philosopher Bergson drew up in 1937, when anti-Semitism was at 
its height in Germany, he inserted this explanatory clause : " My 
reflections lead me closer and closer to Catholicism, in which I see 
the fulfilment of Judaism. I would have become a convert 
had I not foreseen the formidable wave of anti-Semitism. . . . 
I wanted to remain among those who to-morrow will be perse- 
cuted." 27 Such is the racial spirit of the Jew; it quails at nothing. 


1 Magnus, Philip, Sunday Times, May 13, 1934. 

2 Montefiore, C. G., Papers for Jewish People, 1918. 

3 Nationalism — Report by a Study-Group, 1939, p. 165. 

4 Gibbon, E., Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Everyman ed., vol. 1, 

P- 435- 

5 Ibid., vol. 2, p. 5. 

6 Kastein, Josef, Jews in Germany, 1934. 

7 Murray's New English Dictionary. 

8 Coudenhove-Kalergi, Count Heinrich, Anti-Semitism throughout the 
Ages, 1935, p. 2. 

8 Hankins, F. H., The Racial Basis of Civilization, 1926, p. 11. 

10 Bram, Joseph, Trans. N.Y. Acad. Sc, 1944, Ser. 2, vol. 6, p. 194. 

11 British opinion is reflected in Professor H. J. Fleure's state/nent: — 
" Only distorted prejudice can attempt to single out a so-called race." Bull. 
John Rylands's L'brary, 1940, vol. 24, p. 245. 


12 Ruppin, Arthur, The Jewish Fate and Future, 1940, p. 203. 

13 Weissenberg, L., Archw. Anthrop., 1895, 12, pp. 347-541. 

14 Dahlberg, G., Race, Reason, and Rubbish, 1942, p. 225. 

15 Salaman, R. N.,Jour. Genetics, 1911, vol. 1, p. 223. 

16 Garstang, John, The Heritage of Solomon, 1934, ch. V. 

17 Nehemiah I, 4. 

18 My statement is based on an account given by Mr. W. Fagg in Man, 
1941, p. 104. 

19 See reference 16, p. 60. 

20 Kappers and Parr, An Introduction to the Anthropology of the Near East, 
1934, p. 192. 

21 See reference 8, p. 117. 

22 Graetz, H., History of the Jews, 1S91, vol. 2, p. 248. 

23 Ibid., p. 248. 

24 Nehemiah XIII, 23. 
• 25 Ezra X, 11. 

28 The Times, Nov. 6, 1943. 

essay xxxvm 




Synopsis. — Evolution applied to the elucidation of Jewish history. 
Evolving groups must be isolated. The root from which anti-Semitism 
arose. The antiquity and persistence of anti-Semitism. Its relation- 
ship to nationalism and to density of the Jewish population. With free 
intermarriage of Gentile and Jew anti-Semitism would disappear. It 
has been attributed to the religion of the Jews. Anti-Semitism con- 
sidered from an anthropological point of view. It is a particular form 
of racialism. Closed societies evoke antagonisms. Jews have a racial 
" blind spot." Most hold that anti-Semitism is purely a Gentile prob- 
lem, but there are exceptions. Jewish conduct is based on a dual code. 
Professional anthropologists have misled both Gentile and Jew in the 
matter of race. Zionism : its aims and aspirations. How the co- 
operation of the British Government was enlisted. Riots in Palestine 
between Arabs and Jews. The Arabs come to regard the British as their 
chief enemy and begin a war of independence. They were placated in 
1939 by a limitation in the number of Jews admitted to Palestine. The 
Jews then became the open enemies of the British forces in Palestine and 
began a campaign of terrorism. The British mandate had two irre- 
concilable objectives and proved unworkable. In the author s opinion 
the only way out of the Palestinian dilemma is for both Jew and Briton 
to abandon the scheme of an exclusive national home. 

The brevity with which I have dealt with the Jews in the preceding 
essay may lead my readers to think that I have but a superficial 
acquaintance with their history and character. I hasten to state 
that this really is not the case ; for over half a century I have had 
opportunities of studying them at close quarters ; for thirty years I 
have been collecting data relating to them and reading their 



histories, of which there is no lack. 1 My object is not co add a 
chapter to the history of the Jews, but simply to show that the 
theory of human evolution which has been expounded in the 
earlier essays of this book helps us to understand the origin of the 
Jews as a separate people, and of the evil fate that has dogged them 
at every phase of their long history. There are two factors essen- 
tial to my theory — first, human evolution is carried on by group 
contending with group ; second, groups are kept apart and isolated 
by their mutual antagonisms or aversions. Isolation is a condition 
which must be preserved if a group is to evolve. It is to the dis- 
like or animosity which separates evolving groups that I attribute 
the evil feelings which are so apt to arise in Gentile nations towards 
their guest communities of Jews, an antagonism which constitutes 
the scourge of the modern civilized world known as anti- 

The earliest record of anti-Semitism is that preserved in the 
Book of Esther, 2 and attributed to the end of the sixth century 
b.c. : — 

" And Haman said to king Ahasuerus, There is a certain 
people scattered abroad and dispersed among the people of 
all provinces of thy kingdom ; and their laws are diverse from 
all people; neither keep they the king's laws; therefore it is 
not for the king's profit to suffer them. If it please the king, 
let it be written that they may be destroyed." 

Such, then, is the first record of anti-Semitism and of the first 
Hitler, for Haman, in ancient Persia, cast himself for the inhuman 
part so fully filled by Hitler in modern Germany. Between the 
time of Haman and that of Hitler, the Jews have never enjoyed 
ease or peace in any country for a long period. 3 As Renan has 
said, " Anti-Semitism repeats itself everywhere and at all times." 
England, in recent centuries so tolerant towards the Jews, was 
not always so ; there were massacres in London and York before 
she expelled the Jews in 1290 ; the same may be said of France, 
from which Jews were banished in 1306. England and France in 
the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries still retained barbarous 
traits in their mentality, and were therefore more liable to racial 
outbursts than at later and more educated periods. We must 
remember, however, that it was in these earlier centuries that the 
English and the French were beginning to be national-minded ; 


it is to nationalism, rather than to a low state of civilization or 
to a religious antipathy, that I attribute the earlier manifestations 
of anti-Semitism in Western Europe. In the twentieth century 
the people of Germany were both educated and civilized, yet 
among them a feeling against the Jews reached a new depth of 
infamy and cruelty. The German sense of nationality had been 
blown into a white heat by the breath of their fanatical leader, 
for Hitler was a naked nationalist, racialist, and evolutionist. 
Again, it is held by many that anti-Semitism is most liable to break 
out where Jews aremost denselyplanted. In Poland,for example, 
where in 1939 there were 3-3 million Jews, forming ten per cent 
of the population, anti-Semitism was endemic. It cannot be 
altogether a matter of density, for in the city of New York Jews 
now form nearly twenty per cent of the population, and yet the 
city is free from organized outbreaks of anti-Semitism. 

There is a great diversity of opinion as to the origin ahd nature 
of anti-Semitism, but on one point both Gentile and Jewish 
authorities are in agreement — namely, that it would disappear 
with free inter-marriage between Jews and Gentile. In this simple 
way the Jew could gain the liberties he so longs for, but in a way 
that he has rejected in all ages with scorn. He is infuriated by 
the mere suggestion of inter-marriage as a cure. 4 Namier regards 
" assimilation as a confession of inferiority." 5 In my reading I 
have come across no instance of a Jewish community surrendering 
itself voluntarily to marriage with Gentiles ; the fear of assimila- 
tion is deeply rooted in Jewish nature. The rehgious-minded Jew 
explains that his fear of assimilation and his desire to perpetuate 
his kind are an expression of his resolve to preserve his faith and 
so to fulfil his divine mission. In this view anti-Semitism is the 
price he pays, not for his race, but for his religion. 

A layman informed the readers of The Times (Aug. 23, 1934) 
that anti-Semitism " was explicable on religious, historical, and 
emotional, but not on anthropological terms." It is just on 
anthropological terms that I am seeking to explain this social 
disorder ; if we are to effect a cure, our first care must be to make 
a correct diagnosis. We have seen (Essay XXXV) that racialism 
springs into being whenever two races become mtermingled in 
the same territory; anti-Semitism comes into being under the 
same conditions ; it is a particular species of racialism. 'Another 
mark of its racial nature i: that it is collective in its action; anti- 


Semites blame a community for the misdeed? of one of its in- 
dividual members. Anti-Semitism, like all forms of racialism, is 
not inborn ; it is acquired ; but its emotional and mental sub- 
strate is inborn (see p. 360). Racial feelings, once aroused, are 
capable of unspeakable atrocities. 

One does not have to be an anthropologist," writes my friend 
Professor Hooton of Harvard, 6 " to realize that any group which 
is physically and socially distinct, is sure to arouse envy and hatred 
amongst outsiders." Franz Boas, 7 a distinguished Jewish anthro- 
pologist, regarded racialism as "the antagonism which is evoked 
by a closed society." Jewish communities are certainly closed 
societies, but, then, so are the thousands of castes which live side 
by.side in India without open strife. It is only when enclosed or* 
exclusive societies are different in their racial composition that 
warring passions are awakened. Professor Fleure 8 came near the 
truth when he wrote, " Group consciousness resents what it 
cannot assimilate." " But that which most vehemently enraged 
and irritated a Grseco-Roman world against the Jews," remarked 
Coudenhove Kalergi, 9 " was that impenetrable wall of separation 
which the latter had raised between themselves and non-Jews, 
and this they had done only because their law compelled them to." 
That, I think, is a fairly accurate description, written by a friendly 
pen, of the mental rampart with which the Jews have surrounded 
themselves to prevent absorption. Sacchar, 10 writing in 1934 of 
the three million Jews in Russia, says this of them : " Apparently 
unassimilable, hard as steel, stubborn as death ... a huge bone 
in the gullet of nationalism." What has happened to the Jews of 
Russia since that passage was written by Sacchar, I do not know, 
but it is hard to believe that even the Soviet technique has suc- 
ceeded in bringing about their assimilation. To fill out my 
account of the Jew's attitude towards his Gentile surroundings I 
am to cite the evidence of a learned Jew, that of Professor L. B. 
Namier : u " But so long as the Jews remain a cohesive self- 
contained community, with a consciousness -and national pride 
of their own, they preserve their strength and their vitality." 

Perhaps the most outstanding of the mental characteristics 
associated with race is an inability to see things from the point of 
view of an opposing people. All beliefs that a man entertains 
regarding his nation or his race are of the nature of convictions, 
so fixed in his consciousness that they remain unquestioned and are 


regarded by him as unquestionable. Tbe Jew is genuinely 
puzzled to account for the Gentile's attitude towards him. 
Sometimes he attributes it to a jealousy of the successwhich attends 
the endeavours of a large proportion of Jews in thehighervocations 
of life ; the cruelty of the Gentile he is apt to attribute to a sadistic 
nature and a need for scapegoats. Very rarely does he ask the 
question : " Why are my people objects of antipathy to so many 
Gentiles? " Josef Kastein 12 explains this omission : " The Jew 
never turned to his enemy to ask, Why do you treat me thus? 
He turned to the highest court of appeal and there asked, Why 
do you send me this? " Later in his book 13 he adds : " Let us 
remember the great teaching of our history, that anti-Semitism is 
not a Jewish but a foreign problem." Almost the first sentence 
in Mr. Louis Golding's book 14 is " Anti-Semitism is not a Jewish 
but a Gentile problem." A distinguished Jew in a letter to me 
wrote : " You may see, therefore, that the cause of this aloofness 
does not lie with the Jews but with the people among whom they 
live." Professor Hooton 15 does not share this point of view. " I 
am inclined to doubt," he said, " that the priority of antipathy 
and of the exclusive tendency lies with the non-Jews." The 
Gentile, it must be confessed, has racial corns ; when tramped on 
he cries out. It is usual to blame, not the victim tramped on, but 
the tramper. Those who support the Jewish attitude \vill re- 
join : " Let the Gentile cure himself of his racial corns." For two 
thousand years the Gentile world has been seeking for a cure and 
has failed to find one. 

The outlook in the relation of Jew to Gentile would indeed be 
dark were it not that there are Jews who succeed in seeing things 
from the Gentile's point of view. In the Jewish Chronicle (Aug. 
10, 1934, p. 9) there appeared a letter from which the following 
passages are taken : " Clearly it is not true that Jewish misfor- 
tunes arise only from intolerance and all that the Jews have to do 
is to ' sit tight and pretty ' and allow the various governments to 
stamp out the anti-Semitic spirit. The Jewish problem is not 
solely for government ; Jews have their own share to take." 

Another mark of race possessed by the Jews must be mentioned. 
Their conduct is regulated by a " dual code " ; their conduct 
towards their fellows is based on one code (amity), and that 
towards all who are outside their circle on another .(enmity). 
The use of the dual code, as we have seen (p. 63), is a mark of 


an evolving race. My deliberate opinion is that racial characters 
are more strongly developed in the Jews than in any other 
Caucasian people. Anti-Semitism, then, is but an ugly and 
virulent form of racialism. 

My anthropological colleagues, under the spell of ethical ideals, 
have done Gentiles and Jews an ill-service by giving euphonious 
names to vulgar things. They have assured the Jews that they 
are not a race but only an " ethnic group " kept together by having 
a religion in common. They also have assured all the other 
Caucasian peoples that they are raceless, and that hence all the 
animosity which arises between Gentile and Jew is an artificially 
fomented form of hysteria. With the best intentions in the world* 
professional anthropologists have succeeded in hiding from the 
world the nature of its running sores. If these sores are to be 
cured, they must be exposed freely to the surgeon's scrutiny, and 
have their proper names given to them. 

We now proceed to consider the racial aspects of a Jewish 
scheme which was initiated in the latter half of the nineteenth 
century under the name of Zionism. Nehemiah's dream of a 
Jerusalem with a restored Zion in its midst is one which still grips 
the imagination of many modern Jews. Zionism was, in its 
opening^ phase, a movement which sought for the realization of 
this ideal. The appeal was strengthened by certain other con- 
siderations. In a land of their own the fear of assimilation would 
vanish; Jews would be in a position to abandon their acquired 
Gentile tongues and be free to revive and converse in their own 
original tongue — Hebrew, which has been a dead language for 
twenty-five centuries. In a land of their own they could preserve 
and practise their religion, and observe their customs ; they could 
develop their culture in all its forms. Above all, a sovereign 
independence would permit them to work out their separate 
racial destiny. They would again have a national home. 

In 1917 the British Cabinet, wishing to acknowledge a signal 
service rendered to the war by Dr. Chaim Weizmann, asked him 
what form their award should take. He explained that he desired 
neither money nor honours ; he would feel amply repaid if the 
British Government would favour the establishment of a national 
home for the Jews in Palestine. This scheme made an especial 
appeal to one member of the Cabinet — Mr. A. J. Balfour, after- 
wards the first Lord Balfour (1848-193^). Mr. BaFour was a 


statesman of the highest order, with a subtle and religious mind 
steeped in philosophy, who regarded the maintenance of law and 
order as the first duty of a government. If racial inequalities were 
met with, they were to be ironed out with a firm hand. Mr. 
Lloyd George favoured Dr. Weizmann's appeal; so did Mr. 
Winston Churchill. In this way the British Government found 
itself added to the Zionist train. 

In 1922 Britain was formally entrusted by the League of Nations 
with the government of Palestine. In its mandate there were two 
provisions : (1) the establishment of a home for the Jews in 
Palestine to be facilitated ; (2) the rights and position of the then 
occupants of Palestine to be safeguarded. Thus Britain under- 
took obligations to two peoples, the Jews and theArabs of Palestine. 
It promised to make them co-occupants of the same small land. 

Palestine measures only a little over 9,000 square miles, and 
nearly half of these miles are barren. Even if cultivated to the 
highest point possible, the land could not carry a population 
greater than a million and a half. In 1920 there were about 
fifteen million Jews in the world; " the promised land " could 
provide a home for only a fraction of that number. At that date 
Palestine provided a home for 673,000 Arabs and 67,000 Jews, the 
Jews thus forming only ten per cent of the population. The 
Palestinian Arabs, during the 1,300 years of their occupancy, had 
never formed a separate people; like their brothers in the vast 
deserts of Arabia, they were tribal in their organization and tribal 
in their mentality. A common danger drew the Palestinian 
Arabs together and gave them the unity and strength of a nation. 
In Britain's promise to provide a home for the Jews the Arabs saw 
a threat to their homes, to their ways of life, and to their existence 
as a people Their feelings led to a riotous outburst against the 
Jews in 1920-21 ; the conflagration which broke out in 1929 
between Moslems and Jews over access to the " wailing wall " 
was a more serious and bloody affair. In the early thirties Arab 
enmity was changing in its objective ; it became directed as much, 
or even more, against the British as against the Jews. By 1936 
Arab nationalism had been aroused; the Arabs began a war of 
liberation, a war for the independence of Palestine. " A few 
armed men in the hills," reported The Times (Oct. 5, 1938), 
" have become a united Arab people. The sheik has become a 
holy warrior; the schoolmaster has turned propagandist ; anew 


level of insecurity has been reached." The envision of the country 
into Arab and Jewish States, recommended to the British Govern- 
ment in 1937 by the Peel Commission, pleased the Arab as little as 
it did "the Jew. From 1936 to 1939 were/' black murderous 
days " ; 16 the Jews feared they might be driven into the sea and 
the Arabs that they or their children would have to seek refuge in 
the desert. In 1939 the British Government succeeded in tem- 
porarily placating the national aspiration of the Arabs by limiting 
the yearly admission of Jews to 10,000 for a period. It now began 
to be realized that there was " a stark contradiction between Arab 
aspirations and Britain's obligations to the Jews." 

In the opening years of the war (1939-45) there was a lull m 
Palestinian strife. At this time (1942) it was found that the 
population of Palestine had increased from 740,000 in 1920 to 
1,620,000; Arabs, who numbered 673,000 in 1920, now totalled 
1,156,000; the Jews had risen from 67,000 to 484,000. With 
this great addition to their number the policy of the Jews became 
more aggressive. They demanded that the British should carry 
out their mandate, that Jews should be given unlimited access to 
Palestine, and that 100,000 should be admitted at once. " The 
Jewish nation," said Bagehot, "won by law, not by war." On this 
occasion, their demands having been refused, the Jews threw law 
to the winds and resorted to force applied diabolically and with 
ingenuity. The British found themselves in the same position in 
Palestine as the Romans had done twenty centuries earlier. The 
Jews fought with the same fanaticism and ferocity for the recovery 
of Palestine as their forefathers had done in Roman and in Macca- 
bean times for the liberation of their country. The sixteen 
million Jews scattered through the world, particularly those of 
the United States, were on their side. Nor were the Arabs for- 
gotten by their kinsmen; the fourteen million Arabs living in 
Arabia, Iraq, and Syria leagued themselves in support of the 
Palestinians; so did the Egyptians. But no nation rallied to 
aid the British. The opposite was the case; the United States 
requested that Britain should give 100,000 Jews immediate 

In 1946 a commission of twelve members, six representing the 
United States and six Great Britain, was sent to Palestine to 
examine and report on the state of things in that country. The 
commission reported (The Times, May 1, 1946) that it had found 


Palestine to be " an armed camp " ; it expressed the opinion that 
" the whole world shares responsibility for the displaced Jews of 
Europe," and asked that 100,000 of them should be admitted forth- 
with. That the Palestinian Arabs should be made to pay the 

* world's debt did not seem unfair to the commission, as it held that 
" Palestine belongs neither to Jew, nor to Arab, but to the religious 
world." Seeing that the " religious world " had left the Arab in 
possession for thirteen centuries, its claim may well be questioned. 
The commission's chief recommendation was that Palestine 
should " remain under mandatory or U.N.O. control until Arab 
and Jew are agreed to live in peace together," and that they " were 
to be made to understand that the programme proposed will be 
imposed and continued under duress." The anthropologist sees a 
disastrous future for Palestine if that recommendation is adopted 
as a policy. There has been a mandatory Power in Palestine for 
wellnigh thirty years ; the British taxpayer has spent upwards of 
^100,000,000 in maintaining if, and under it things have ever 
moved from bad to worse. No power on earth will suppress the 
resolution and raciality of the Jews. 

In 1930 Judge Lofgren of Sweden said a true thing of the 
mandate with which Britain had been entrusted ; it bound her to 
carry out two objects which were irreconcilable. She undertook 
to provide a home for Jews in Palestine and, at the same time, to 
do no wrong to the Arab population. She thought that one 
small land could be made a home for two racially minded incom- 
patible peoples. She has now (1947) discovered her mistake. 
What, then, is Britain to do ? It is usually counted for wisdom, 
when a mistake has been made, to acknowledge it and to make 
reparations for wrongs done. The British Cabinet of 1917 was 
not alone in being mistaken. The Zionists also misjudged the 
situation ; they were blind to the rights of the Palestinian Arabs ; 
they believed that the wealth, prosperity, and culture they would 
bring into Palestine would cause Arabs to throw their doors 
widely open for their entry. These expectations have proved to 
be disastrous miscalculations. The present critical situation in 
Palestine gives the Jews in general, and the Zionists in particular, 
an opportunity of making an unprecedently generous gesture to 
humanity, all the world over ; to abandon their resolve to become 
the dominant power in Palestine, to acknowledge the lawful 
possession of that land by the Arabs who are native to if, to cease 


in demanding the mandatory " pound-of-flesh " from Britain, 
for ultimately it has to be cut from the living Arab ; and to make 
terms with the Palestinians for all the rights and privileges which 
can be enjoyed by a guest people. The only alternative that I can 
see is a bloody and prolonged war. If I am mistaken in these 
suggestions, the future will speedily find me out. At least, such 
is the position of matters in 1947 as seen through the eyes of an 

Postscript. November 29, 1947. 

To-day the United Nations Organization decided to divide 
Palestine into Jewish and Arab States. The Jews accept this 
decision ; the Arabs reject it. The British Government has 
announced that it brings its mandate in Palestine to an end on 
May 15, 1948. 


1 The authoritative History of Jews is, of course, the Old Testament. Of 
modern works that which makes the most direct appeal to me is Professor 
Arthur Ruppm's The Jewish State and Future, 1940. Other works which I 
have studied are : — History of the Jews, 1891, by Professor H. Graetz ; A History 
of the Jews, 1934, by A. L. Sacchar; Israel, 1932, by A. Lods; Jews in Germany, 
1934, by Josef Kastein ; Anti-Semitism throughout the Ages, 1935, by Count 
H. Coudenhove-Kalergi ; The Jewish Problem, 1938, by Louis Golding; 
A History of the Jews in England, 1942, by Cecil Roth; The Races of the Old 
Testament, 1891, by Professor A. H. Sayce; The Heritage of Solomon, 1934, by 

John Garstang ; The Emergence of the Jewish Problem, 1946, by James Parkes. 

2 Esther, III, 8. 

3 Coudenhove-Kalergi, Count, Anti-Semitism throughout the Ages, 1935. 

4 Hooton, E. A., Twilight of Man, 1939, pp. 247-9. 

5 Namier, L. B., Conflict Studies in Contemporary History, 1942, p. 126. 
8 Hooton, E. A., see reference 4, p. 246. 

7 Boaz, Franz, Science, 1937, vol. 74, p. 1. 

8 Fleure, H. J., Bull. John Rylands's Library, 1940, vol. 24, p. 245. 

9 See under reference 3. 

10 Sacchar, A. L., A History of the Jews, 1934, p. 32 2 - 

11 Namier, L. B., see under reference 5, p. 126. 

12 Kastein, Josef, Jews in Germany, 1934, p. 14. 

13 Ibid., p. 163. 

14 Golding, Louis, The Jewish Problem, 1938. 

15 Hooton, E. A., see under reference 4, p. 242. 

16 See The Times, Dec. 4, 1943- 



Synopsis. — The people of the United States of America considered as 
a nation and compared to the nations of Europe. The need for another 
name for the " American " nation. The colonization of the United 
States by the English compared with the colonization of England by the 
Anglo-Saxons. Two traditions and ways of life were established by 
the English colonists in America. The New England tradition held 
in the North, the Virginian in the South. Assimilation as a factor in 
nation-building. The American Revolution interpreted from an 
anthropologist's point of view. The colonists having won the war 
had then to win the peace. The Civil War secured the union of the 
nation. The tide of immigrants. The policy of the United States 
became isolationist and national after the first world war. The 
" national " and racial composition of the people of the United States in 
1920. The result of Professor Hooton's anthropological investigations. 
The process of evolution is retarded in large nations. Local evolution. 
Race-building in the United States. The Negro problem. Anti- 
Semitism and anti-Negroism compared. The difficulties which attend 
schemes which seek to model the nations of Europe in the pattern of the 
United States. Nation- and race-formation are neglected anthropological 

The nations we have dealt with so far — those of Egypt, of Scot- 
land, of "Wales, and of Ireland — are of small size and have grown 
up by the amalgamation of adjacent tribes and peoples. The 
nation whose rise we are to consider in this essay, that of the 
United States of America, is of colossal size, numbering in 1946 
about 140 million people, and inhabiting an area which is con- 
tinental in extent, for the territory of the United States measures 
nearly three million square miles, being only a little less than the 
continent of Europe. The nations of Europe may be said to have 
" grown up " ; their sizeand the extent of their territories were 



determined in the general struggle for power and for survival. 
The nation we are now to consider, although it began fortuitously, 
was developed and grew under a plan devised by the statesmen 
who framed the constitution of the United States. The " Ameri- 
can " nation, besides being planned, differs from European nations 
in a very important respect : the European nations were formed 
out of populations native to their territories, whereas the " Ameri- 
can ' nation has been forged out of an immigrant population. 
In one point, however, the white population of the United States 
is in agreement with the nations of Europe ; all are of the Cau- 
casian stock. In Europe the stock has been broken up into local 
national breeds ; in America the local breeds of Europe have been 
•reunited. But, as we shall see later, the preponderant affinities of 
the New Nation are with the peoples of N.W. Europe. 

What name are we to give to this new nation? The white 
people of the United States call themselves " Americans " and are 
recognized under this name by other nationalities. No doubt 
that usage will hold fast, but for anthropologists 1 the name has 
many disadvantages. They need a term to embrace all the peoples 
of the New World ; all are Americans. We want a term which 
is applicable to only the Caucasian population of the United States. 
For some years I have used a hieroglyph — " USA'ans " — for 
this purpose, an ugly improvisation. The pioneer people of 
New England, who gave the New Nation its basal tradition, came 
to be known as Yankees — a name now discarded. But if we 
borrow certain letters from that term and introduce them to my 
hieroglyph, we get " Yusanians," a name which will serve the 
temporary purpose of this essay. I shall speak, then, of the 
Caucasian population of the United States as " Yusanians." 

There are certain instructive points of resemblance between the 
colonization of England by the Anglo-Saxons and the coloniza- 
tion of America by the English. Both set out, not in search of 
plunder, but of new homes. Both took with them their wives 
and children; they were prepared for hard work and, if need be, 
to defend themselves. The Anglo-Saxons began by landing in 
Kent (449), and continued to arrive for nearly a century and a 
half, during which time they established seven colonies, each of 
which grew into a separate State or kingdom. The English 
settlemexit along the east coast of America began in Virginia 
(1606) and may be said to have finished, with the establishment of 


Georgia (1733). Thirteen colonies had come into existence; 
they occupied a coastal strip fully 1,000 miles in length. It is 
noteworthy that the early American colonists were recruited 
chiefly from the more Saxon counties of England. The Anglo- 
Saxons had to make voyages of some 300 or 400 miles across a 
stormy but inland sea, whereas the English had to cross the wide 
Atlantic. The two colonizations differed in several important 
respects. The Anglo-Saxons left no parental government behind 
them on the continent; each colony claimed sovereign inde- 
pendent rights. The English colonists, on the other hand, when 
settled in their new homes still owed allegiance to the mother 
cquntry. War made the seven Anglo-Saxon States or kingdoms 
into one; war made the thirteen English colonies or States into a 
single confederation. The enemy encountered by the Anglo- 
Saxons in England were Caucasians, not unlike themselves in a 
physical sense, whereas the enemy encountered by the English in 
America were of an unlike stock. A hybrid between Saxon and 
Celt could not be distinguished from either of the parent stocks, 
but a hybrid Anglo-Amerind was recognizable at sight. It took 
the Anglo-Saxons over three centuries to sweep across England; 
the people of Wales remained as a bulwark between them and the 
Irish Sea. From the time that the Enghsh colonists in America 
had established a firm belt along the Atlantic sea-board (1650) 
until the arrival of their descendants on the Pacific slopes, a period 
of two centuries elapsed. The original inhabitants of the land, 
numbering about 600,000 and divided into some 300 tribes, were 
killed or encircled as the Americans swept westward. In the 
census of 1930 the Amerinds, including half-breeds, numbered 
332,000, most of them living on reservations. Thus in the course 
of three centuries a single Caucasian nation forming forty-eight 
units or States, and numbering (1946) 127 millions, replaced a 
conglomeration of Amerind tribes. The Anglo-Saxons and the 
colonial Enghsh shared the same hardy ethical sense ; they had one 
rule of conduct for themselves, and another for the people whose 
lands they seized. Viscount Bryce, writing in 191 1, 2 was less 
than just to the Amerinds when he penned the following sentence : 
" The territory now covered by the United States was, from a 
pohtical point of view, practically vacant when discovered in the 
end of the fifteenth century." " A few hunting tribes;'" wrote 
Madison Grant, 3 " could not be allowed to possess a continent." 


In the building up of a new nation the most important and also 
the most difficult thing is the establishment of a way of life, a way 
which, as it is handed on from one generation to the next, will 
become a quickening and guiding tradition. Historians are agreed 
that the tradition which came to pervade the northern population 
of the United States was that established in New England by the 
Puritans, a people who valued their liberties, religious, political, 
and social, more than worldly success. The Puritan colonists 
from England began to settle in their new home in 1620; by 
1640 there were 20,000 of them with their homes scattered along 
Massachusetts Bay. They were a people who prized learning, for 
they brought Harvard University into being in 1636. A century 
later (1740), when the colonists had reached the million mark, the 
New Englanders had spread in every direction ; they had " settled" 
the States which lie to the north of Massachusetts and also those 
which lie to the immediate south of that State, carrying with them 
and establishing their tradition. The Dutch had set up a trading 
station on the site of New York and later made settlements there. 
The Swedes had landed and settled in Delaware (1638); if these 
Dutch and Swedish colonies had rooted and grown, then there 
might have been in America the same diversity of tongues and 
peoples as in Western Europe, for in more distant regions the 
French and Spaniards had also established stations. The New 
Englanders, spreading southwards into the State of New York 
and carrying with them their strong assimilative powers, ulti- 
mately absorbed the Dutch as they, in turn, had overwhelmed the 
Swedes. After the revolution the trek to the North-West 
Territory was headed by descendants of the New England 

In the south, in Virginia, another tradition took origin. By 
1622 the Virginian colonists numbered 4,000 ; they had become 
tobacco-planters and owners of African slaves. Perhaps the 
warmer climate of the south induced the Virginian colonists to 
lead an easier and less laborious life than their Puritan brethren 
of the north. Perhaps it was because the Virginians were 
recruited from the more leisured and wealthier class of English- 
men. Wealth and slave labour made it possible for them to 
become the masters of spacious and well-appointed homes. In 
the north? labour by the sweat of the brow was counted a virtue ; 
in the south it came to be regarded as a virtue only wh^n exercised 


by slaves. The southern squire was a man of education and 
culture with a high sense of public duty. As the early Virginians 
spread southwards into the Carolinas and Georgia they carried 
their ideals and modes of life with them. Later, when they moved 
westwards into the southern States, they succeeded in establishing 
the Virginian tradition in their new homes. Thus there arose 
two traditions among the Yusanians, that of New England in the 
north and that of Virginia in the south. As we shall see later, 
this twofold cultural heritage initiated the greatest crisis which has 
so far overtaken the Yusanian nation. 

As we have seen (p. 147), one of the most remarkable characters 
pf a nation is its powers of assimilation, its unconscious ability to 
impart to strangers and to immigrants its mode of life and its 
traditions. This ability to absorb is often regarded as something 
superadded to the normal life of a community, but this is not the 
case. Every generation hands on its tradition to its children 
who constitute the next generation ; every child, as it grows up, 
undergoes the process of assimilation. A nation is a great school 
in which tradition is taught from day to day ; it is taught in the 
market-place, in the church, and in the homes. The reciprocal 
affections of parents and children provide the machinery of 
assimilation within the home. Indeed, it has been observed that 
it is the children of immigrants who establish the first bonds 
linking them to their host nation. Throughout the colonial 
period, up to the time of the Declaration of Independence 
(July 4th, 1776), the power of assimilation of New Englanders and 
of Virginians was not greatly taxed ; the flow of immigrants was 
limited in numbers, and although there was an inflow of Germans 
from the Rhine Valley, yet the greater number of new arrivals 
were of British origin. Thus the traditions of New England and 
of Virginia had time to develop and to undergo consolidation 
before the westward movement set in. 

We come now to the first major event in Yusanian history — 
the crisis which made the English colonists into a nation. On 
July 4th, 1776, their Congress declared " that these united colonies 
are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States." 
Historians ascribe this declaration to political blunders made by 
King George and his Government, but the anthropologist sees in 
it an evolutionary movement of a kind with which he is familiar — 
that of self-determination (see p. 366). Political blunders were 


the immediate cause of the revolution, but the machinery which 
gave the nation birth was resident in human nature ; sooner or 
later the " breakaway " would have occurred. At the very time 
when the colonists were drafting their Declaration, Adam Smith 
(1723-96) was writing the Wealth of Nations and penned the 
following passage : " To propose that Great Britain should 
voluntarily give up all authority over her colonies . . . would 
be to propose such a measure as never was . . . adopted by any 
nation in the world. . . . Yet to give up would be advantageous. 
. . . Filial affection would revive." 4 That is a sane and con- 
temporary view of the situation as measured by a Scot. Along 
side of it I place the opinion of a modern American professor q£ 
history. 5 " The Revolution itself," writes Professor Conmager 
(1941), was a great creative movement that set in about 1760 
and came to a close with the establishment of Federal Government 
in 1789. The War of Independence was merely part of a larger 
movement." This " larger movement " was, in my opinion, 
that of" self-determination " — the act which brings a nation into 

Having won the war (1783) the colonists had then to win the 
peace, which proved to be a matter of extreme difficulty. Each 
of the thirteen colonies had set its mind on being a separate 
independent State. Their collective population was under four 
millions, and their combined territory was more than ten times 
the area of England. Had the individual colonies insisted on 
retaining what they counted their rights, thirteen separate, 
warring nations would have come into existence — another 
Europe. Ultimately (1787) they agreed to federate under a 
central government. In their constitution there were two 
provisions which have a direct bearing on nation-making. The 
first and the most important of these was that no State could secede 
from the Union unless it had the consent of all the other States. 
Thus the greatest danger of a federal nation — that of disruption — 
was provided against. Another measure' of no less importance was 
that which provided for extension of national territory and the 
creation of additional States. The result of the war between Britain 
and France (1756-63) opened the way for the colonists to surge 
westwards. The inhabitants of a new territory whenever they 
reached the number of 40,000 could claim admission to the 
Union. The first to claim admission T/as Vermont(i79i), the 


last and forty-eighth was Oklahoma (1912). Thus was brought 
into existence a nation divided into forty-eight States and 
occupying an area of almost sixty times that of England. 

Early in the nineteenth century a humanitarian spirit, spreading 
throughout civilized lands, led to the freeing of slaves ; those of 
the British colonies were set at liberty in 1 8 3 3 . This spirit moved 
the northern States, of New England tradition, to demand the 
abolition of slavery in all the States of the Union. In 1861 the 
destiny of the nation was placed in the hands of Lincoln. Seven 
States seceded and were joined by another four; twenty-one 
States (the total number being then thirty-two) remained loyal 
tp the central or federal government. Lincoln declared war 
against the seceding States. To keep slaves was not a breach of 
law ; war could not be declared on that score, but secession was a 
crime against the constitution. Incidentally the Civil War 
(1861-65) set free some four million people of African origin, 
but the real object aimed at, and achieved, was the preservation 
of the nation as a single evolutionary unit. Secession or self- 
determination of a people in Europe might be commendable, 
but so far as the United States was concerned it was made the one 
heinous and unforgivable national sin. 

In the Civil War over 360,000 men of the Northern States 
" gave their lives that their nation might live." Yet such was the 
resilience of the Yusanians that their numbers, which stood at 31*4 
millions in i860, had risen to 38-5 millions in 1870. In 1840 there 
were onlyseventeen millions in the United States,but thatexceeded 
the population of England and Wales of the same date. From 
1845 the full immigrant tide of Germans and of Irish set in; be- 
fore 1914 over five million Germans and over four million 
Irish had arrived. In the same period some two million 
Scandinavians had added their genes to the Yusanian pool. In 
the last two decades of the nineteenth century the immigrant tide 
from N.W.Europe slackened and that from Central and Southern 
Europe set in. In the ten years which preceded the first world 
war seven millions were added, mostly from Central and Southern 
Europe. From first to last over thirty-eight milli on Europeans 
were carried to the American States. 

The war of 19 14-18 brought the immigrant chapter in the 
history of the United States to an end and opened a chapter of 
quite a different kind — that of isolationism. While in the war 


a wave of nationalism swept the States ; the man was marked who 
was not 100 per cent American (Yusanian). By the end of the 
war the mood of the people had changed ; they had become more 
nationally and racially conscious. Isolation, as we have seen, is 
one of the conditions which is essential for race-building ; the 
Yusanians became isolationists, and by a series of enactments, 
beginning in 1921 and ending with the application on July 1st, 
1928, of the " National Origins " Act, restricted immigration to 
150,000 per annum. . The population of the United States in 1920 
was made the basis on which further admissions were to be made. 
The quota of immigrants which each foreign nation was per- 
mitted to send was determined by the extent to which their 
nation was represented in the make-up of the 1920 population of 
the United States. That necessitated an inquiry into the extent 
of the contribution made by each of the nations of Europe to the 
1920 population of the States. This inquiry gave Britain the 
credit of having contributed, from first to last, her blood or genes 
to over forty-one per cent of the Yusanian population, which in 
1920 numbered nearly ninety-five millions. The share assigned 
to Germany was sixteen per cent, to Eire eleven per cent, to 
Scandinavia and the smaller nations of N.W. Europe seven per 
cent. In this estimate seventy-five per cent of the genes circulat- 
ing in the new Yusanian nation was attributed to the peoples of 
N.W. Europe, the remainder coming from Central and Southern 
nations of Europe. It is one thing to determine the Caucasian 
assortment of genes with which a new nation sets out ; it is a 
much more difficult matter to forecast what the final issue will be, 
for certain strains prosper and increase in numbers, while others 
tend to die out. The " Old American " type of Hrdlicka, 6 
which continues the New England strain, fails to hold its own; 
all authorities are agreed on that. Thus the strange fact comes to 
light that while the tradition established in a new nation by its 
pioneers may continue, the stock or type which introduced it 
may become submerged or die out. 

From 1926 to 1938 Professor Hooton of Harvard 8 carried out 
an exact investigation of the population of ten of the States, to 
determine the racial composition of the Yusanians according to 
the methods which anthropologists had employed to discriminate 
the races^ of Europe (see Essay XXXIII). Of pure Nords he 
found only 2-4 per cent, but then it must be remembered that in 


Sweden, 9 the most Nordic nation of Europe, this type does not 
exceed ten per cent ; of pure Mediterraneans, 4.4 per cent ; of 
pure round-headed Alpines, 2.7 per cent. The vast majorityof 
people he examined were a mixture of these types or races. 
In seventy-six per cent of them, however, a Nordic element was 
recognized; in twenty-four per cent this element was lacking. 
Thus, whether we trace the Yusanians to their national homes in 
Europe, or assign them to the racial types of that continent, the 
result is approximately the same. In its racial composition the 
Yusanians are most akin to the peoples of N.W. Europe. In 
keeping with this result is the degree of ease with which the 
nationals of Europe adapt themselves to the Yusanian way of life. 
As we proceed from the north-west of Europe towards Asia 
Minor the resistance to assimilation to the American way of life 
increases, reaching its maximum in the Greeks and the Jews. 

A basal element in the theory maintained in this book is that in 
the primitive and productive phase of human evolution mankind 
was arranged in small local groups. How is evolution affected 
when an area, formerly occupied by hundreds of small isolated 
groups, becomes the home of a single closely knit unit or nation? 
In the course of his inquiries Professor Hooton found local 
evolution to be at work; each State had its own type or types. 
" The result of my analysis," he wrote, 10 " was to establish the 
fact that the older American population has differentiated into 
distinct State physical types." Data collected during the Civil 
War had suggested the existence of local types. No doubt 
immigrants tended to go to States and towns already occupied 
by their fellow-nationals, and new townships " attracted like- 
minded people " (Bagehot), but these are imperfect explanations. 
The chief factor in the production of local types or strains is in- 
breeding ; marriages tend to be local. There is, too, as Ripley u 
pointed out, " a disposition of distinct types to keep separate 
and apart " so far as marriage is concerned. Thus the formation 
of great national units, such as that of the United States, does not 
bring evolution to an end, but it does clog its wheels. 

Some paragraphs back I made the statement that after the first 
world war the Yusanians turned " racial-minded " ; at least their 
Government accepted, in its immigration policy, the advice of 
experts who took the same point of view as I do — namely, that 
nation-building is a species of race-building. In evidence of this 



statement let me cite passages from a Report 12 submitted in 1934 
to the Chamber of Commerce of the State of New York by a 
Special Committee. Here is the first passage (p. 7) : " Thus, in 
the exercise of its own rights and in the building up of its own 
human stocks, the receiving nation must exercise its sovereign 
right to select courageously and radically for the improvement of 
its own human values in future generations." Another passage 
(p. 1 1) : " Immigration calls for an attitude as thoroughly American 
as is necessary in the army, navy, and in the conduct of foreign 
affairs." A further citation is : " Because America needs no more 
human seed-stock, she is in a very strong position to set high 
standards for future immigrants." " Common loyalty," the 
"Report continues (p. 15), " demands that our national policy of 
population control (must) provide that our human seed-stocks of 
the future will conserve our best racial stocks." Much similar 
evidence could be cited from other reliable sources, but the cita- 
tions given are sufficient to prove that those who are responsible 
for the immigration policy of the United States are alive to the 
fact that they are engaged on the most difficult and complex of all 
human activities — that of race-building. A successful race, like 
a winning team, must be a workable and balanced combination 
of all the talents and of all the good qualities inherent in human 

The Yusanian nation is faced by a racial problem of great 
difficulty and also of great magnitude ; it has in its midst a people 
of African origin, which it refuses to assimilate. Writing in 1906 
Professor Sumner of Yale made this statement : 13 " Black and 
White in the United States of America are now tending to more 
strict segregation." Writing in 191 1 Viscount Bryce, 14 made 
the following observations: " Negroes are sharply cut off from 
the Whites by colour and all that colour means. ... To all 
southern sentiment inter-marriage is shocking. In eight States it is 
illegal. The enormous majority, which does not reason, is 
swayed by a feeling so strong and universal that there seems no 
chance of its abating." The attitude of the Yusanians to their 
Negro compatriots has not grown milder since Bryce's time; 
indeed it has hardened ; assimilation as a solution of their Negro 
problem is rejected out of hand. Consider for a moment what 
complete assimilation implies. At the time of the Civil War 
Negroes numbered over four millions ; in 1946 they had in- 



creased to over thirteen millions constituting one tenth of the 
population. To ask the Yusanians to become one-tenth Negro 
is too big a price to expect them to pay for the solution of their 
Negro problem. How averse they are to such a solution may be 
seen from the instructions given to the enumerators of the 1930 . 
census. 15 " A person of mixed white and Negro blood," the 
enumerators are instructed, " should be returned as Negro, no 
matter how small the percentage of Negro blood." In the case of 
the Indians (Amerinds) the instructions are : " A person of mixed 
white and Indian blood should be returned as Indian except where 
percentage of Indian blood is very small or where he is regarded as 
white by his community." A touch of Negro blood disqualifies 
a man from being counted Yusanian, but one with more than a 
drop of Indian blood is accepted. This discrimination in favour 
of the Indian may be due to the fact that his racial traits are less 
obtrusive in the hybrid than are those of the Negro. 

Although the Jewish and the Negro problems are both racial 
in origin, yet they are different in kind. The animosity towards 
the Jew is due to his antagonism to assimilation ; the Negro, on 
the other hand, is ready and willing to assimilate ; the antagonism 
is on the part of the Whites. The Whites claim a racial superiority, 
and this claim has been accepted as part of the Negro tradition. 
For a Negro to marry a White is to go up in the world, but for a 
White to marry a Negro is to go down in it. The antipathy of 
the Yusanians towards Negroes is of the same nature as " class- 
feeling," the feeling which exists between upper and lower classes 
in the older nations of Europe. Whatever the exact nature of the 
discrimination of the White towards the Negro may prove to be, 
there is no doubt that its presence is a disruptive factor in national 
life. It is for statesmen to devise measures for its control : the 
business of the anthropologist is not to suggest remedies nor to 
utter ethical platitudes, but to observe and state his observation 
without reserve. None of us can get away from the fact that 
man is a racial-minded animal. He is also a race-building animal. 

Although this essay has already exceeded the length I had set to 
it, there still remain two matters which I wish to touch on. The 
first relates to the comparison so often made between the forty- 
eight United States of America and the discordant nations of 
Europe. Clarence Streit 16 and many other pohtical writers have 
proposed that the international difficulties of Europe could be 


solved by copying the Yusanian federal sceheme. Let us look into 
the difficulties which stand in the way of establishing a federal 
system in Europe on the American pattern. Bullocks, like 
human beings, are social in their, nature. Bullocks object to 
" gate-crashing " by strangers. If a farmer wishes to add strangers 
to his home herd, he moves that herd into a field which is new to 
them, and then introduces the strangers. Under such conditions 
the " immigrant " bullocks are soon assimilated. Ripley, 17 
the American anthropologist, noted a somewhat similar effect pro- 
duced on immigrants by the strange environment in which they 
found themselves on landing. " The subtle effects of change of 
environment, religious, linguistic, political and social," he noted, 
" is another powerful influence in breaking down ethnic barriers!" 
Every one of the thirty-eight millions who entered America as 
immigrants suffered that thawing experience, before they were 
received by the home-herd and assimilated. In brief, if Europe 
is to be modelled on American lines, its inhabitants must be put 
through a mill similar to that which has made the forty-eight 
States of America into a unity. Nothing less than clearing 
Europe, and resettling it as America was settled, could give Europe 
a single tongue and a united front. 

The other matter I want to touch on now is one of minor 
importance. Indeed, it is intended chiefly for the ears of my 
fellow anthropologists. We have been so engaged in studying the 
races and peoples which came into existence in bygone ages that we 
have overlooked events of far greater moment — the coming into 
existence of new races in the modern world. Race-production 
is an infinitely more important study than the discrimination of 
one old race from another. In this essay I have sought to trace 
the evolution of thelargest, the most powerful in war and in peace 
of all nations (or races), and yet it is the youngest. It takes a 
European nation five or six centuries for a national spirit to 
penetrate to all its crannies. The Yusanian nation (and race) 
dates only from 1920. It was then that it shut the gate for immi- 
grants and started race-building in earnest. What will the 
Yusanians become after five centuries of national life? Their 
greatest danger is the old one — that of secession ; their numbers 
are so large and their territory so extensive. 

D D 



1 This difficulty has been felt by Professor Hooton as the following extract 
from a lecture entitled, " What is an American " will serve to illustrate : — 
" Americans, for our present purposes, may be divided into four classes : 
(i) Old Americans; (2) New Americans — both of whom have been born to 
Americanism; (3) Immigrant Americans who have achieved Americanism; 
(4) Afro-Americans — or those who had Americanism thrust on them. There 
are, in addition, Real Americans, but these are called Indians and, of course, do 
not count." Amer.Jour. Phys. Anthrop., 1936, vol. 22, p. 4. 

2 Bryce, James, The American Commonwealth, 1911, vol. 2, p. 455. 

3 Grant, Madison, The Conquest of a Continent, 1933, p. 222. 

4 Smith, Adam, The Wealth of Nations, Carman's ed., 1925, vol. 2, p. 116. 

5 Commager, H. S., Professor of History, Columbia University, New York 
Times, Jan. 26, 1941. 

"* Hrdlicka, Ales, The Old Americans, 1926. 

7 See authors mentioned under references 3 and 8. 

8 Hooton, E. A., Crime and the Man, Harvard Univ. Press, 1939; 
Twilight of Man, 1939. p- I9<5. 

9 Retzius, Gustav, Huxley Lecture, Jour. Roy. Anthrop. Instit., 1909, vol. 
49, p. 286. 

10 Hooton, E. A., Twilight of Man, 1939, p. 212. 

11 Ripley, W. Z., Huxley Lecture, Jour. Roy. Anthrop. Instit., 1908, vol. 38, 
p. 232. 

12 Laughlin, Harry H., A Report of the Special Committee on Immigration, 
New York, 1934. 

13 Sumner, W. Graham, Folkways, 1906, p. 113. 

14 Bryce, James, see reference 2, p. 533. 

15 Racial Classification in the 1930 Census, Eugenical News, September, 193 1, 
p. 150. 

16 Streit, Clarence, Union Now, 1939. 

17 Ripley, W. Z., see p. 234 of reference 11. 



Synopsis. — Subject of essay outlined. The early settlement of Canada 
by the French. A tradition was established. The annexation of 
Canada by the British. Strife between the French and British 
Canadians. Union of Lower and Upper Canada. The population 
of Quebec is eighty per cent French. The French Canadians form a 
nation. A comparison with the Dutch of South Africa. Two national 
traditions were established in Canada — French-Canadian and British- 
Canadian. Early British settlements. The " racial composition " 
of the British Canadians. The original inhabitants of Canada. The 
rise of the Australian nation. The aborigines. Their replacement by 
Caucasians. Early years of settlement. A " white " policy adopted. 
Lack of an early tradition. Later settlements. The policy of Wake- 
field. A big tide of emigration sets in. Division into provinces. 
There is no " British nation " in the homelands, but there is one in 
Australia. Its " racial " composition. Unsolved problems. The 
people of New Zealand as a nation. The Maoris. The settlement of 
New Zealand and establishment of responsible government. The 
New Zealanders are the purest of British nations. The formation of 
new nations in " acquired " territories is the principal way in which 
human evolution is now being effected. 

In this essay I am to deal with the nations which have arisen in the 
four British Dominions. One of these, that of South Africa, 
has been considered already (Essay XXXV) ; those which come 
up for consideration in the present essay are the two nations of 
Canada — the French Canadian and the British Canadian; the 
Australian nation ; and, most compact and homogeneous of all, 
that of New Zealand. All of them illustrate the manner in 
which new peoples and new races come into being in the modern 
world. « 

Although the French had prospected die St. Lawrence as early 



as 1534, real colonization of the banks of that river did not begin 
until 1604. 1 In that vear ships sailed from Havre carrying the 
first batch of colonists ; among them were squires from Nor- 
mandy, accompanied by their farming tenants and country 
families. They carried with them their local form of speech, 
their French customs and mode of life, and were devoutly religious, 
almost all being Roman Catholics. The lands they settled are 
now in the province of Quebec, but they also established them- 
selves in the maritime provinces now known as New Brunswick 
and Nova Scotia — these two lands being almost equal in area to 
that of England. The French colonists of 1604 found, as the 
English pioneers were also to learn, that the testing time of a 
colony is its opening years. They had their failures and also their 
successes; they were strengthened by accessions from France 
which continued to arrive throughout the greater part of the 
seventeenth century. They called Lower Canada "New France" ; 
they settled closely and firmly established in their midst a strong 
and distinctive tradition, that which now animates the Canadian 

The French inhabitants of New Brunswick and of Nova Scotia 
were known as Acadians; they and their lands (Acadia) were 
transferred to Britain under the Treaty of Utrecht (1713). Later, 
when the Seven Years War (1756-63) broke out between France 
and Britain, they were harshly dealt with by their new masters ; 
many sought new homes in the English Colonies, where they 
were not easily assimilated. At the end of the Seven Years War 
Lower Canada with its French population came into the care of 
the British Government. They then numbered about 6o,ooo, 2 
while at that time the English colonists to the south of Canada 
numbered about three millions. 

In 1774 Britain, being in trouble with her colonists, secured the 
neutrality of the French Canadians by guaranteeing them their 
language, their civil laws, and their religion. In tracing the 
history of the French Canadian nation we shall take a forward 
leap of sixty-three years, bringing us to 1837. By that time 
Upper Canada was being settled by colonists of British birth, and 
strife was brewing between the French and British settlements. 
Lord Durham was sent out in 1837, and this was what he had to 
report to his Government : " I expected to find a contest between 
a government and its pecple ; I found two nations warring in the 


bosom of a single State ; I found a struggle not of principle, but 
of Races." As a remedy Lord Durham proposed the Union of 
Lower and Upper Canada, which was brought about in 1840. 
Then, in 1867, the French-speaking province of Quebec and the 
three English-speaking provinces of Ontario, New Brunswick, 
and Nova Scotia, were united under a constitution, " similar in 
principle to that of the United Kingdom." In this way Quebec, 
the homeland of the French Canadians, became one of the nine 
provinces which make up the modern Dominion of Canada. 

The area of Quebec, as originally constituted, was equal to that 
of France, but recent extensions towards the cold north has made 
the province more than twice the size of the mother country. 
The censusof 1941 gave thepopulation of the province as 3, 3 3 1,000, 
of which eighty per cent were of French descent and less than 
nineteen per cent of British origin. In the capital of the province, 
Montreal, ninety per cent of the population is of French stock. 3 
Of the 3,483,000 French Canadians, over 600,000 of them live 
outside their homeland province — in Nova Scotia, New Bruns- 
wick, Ontario, and the prairie provinces. These are exposed to 
the assimilative powers of the British, but within the province of 
Quebec the power of assimilation lies with the French. The 
population of that province represents a nation within the frame- 
work of the British Commonwealth just in the same sense as 
Scotland does. It is a separate, inbreeding community, firmly 
rooted in the soil, conscious of a common spirit and zealous for its 
own perpetuation. In its political action it is isolationist and 
" particularist." 

It is instructive to compare the early Caucasian settlement of 
the Dominion of Canada with that of South Africa. The Dutch 
landed at the Cape in 1652; the British " took over " in 1814; 
the Dutch were thus in full possession of their territory for 1 52 
years. The French settlement of Canada began in 1604; the 
British took possession in 1763 ; the French were thus under their 
own control for 159 years. In South Africa the British colonists 
took up their abodes in the midst of the Dutch people, and as we 
have seen (p. 357) it is the Dutch tradition which prevails, thus 
making a single nationality possible. In Canada the French 
settlements were closely knit together ; British colonists settled 
outside «he French country, in the two maritime provinces — 
Nova Scotia and New Brunswick — on the east of Quebec, and 


in the inland province or Ontario 1 on the west. Thus two tradi- 
tions were established in Canada, the French, firmly rooted to the 
soil, and the British, less localized; in due time each tradition 
gave birth to a nation. 

Canada has an area of 3 *4 million square miles, being in this 
respect only a little smaller than the United States, but only about 
1 -5 million square miles are suitable for " white " settlement. Of 
the suitable land over 200,000 square miles is occupied by the 
French Canadians, thus leaving 1-3 million square miles to provide 
homes for the British Canadians. In 1941 the British Canadian 
nation numbered 8,175 millions, there being only about six souls 
for each square mile of territory ; were these square miles to be 
populated to the same density as the United States now are, the 
British Canadians would numbersome fiftymillions — aformidable 

The British Canadian is one of the youngest of nations ; it 
began in 1776 when the loyalists of the United States had to seek 
a new home. Some 70,000 4 of these settled in what are now the 
maritime provinces of Canada, and on lands which were to be 
included in the province of Ontario. Even at the beginning of 
the nineteenth century the British Canadians numbered less than 
a quarter of a million. By the middle of the century they reached 
the two million mark; ever since then they have steadily in- 
creased, till in 1941 they numbered over eight millions. To the 
three original provinces occupied by the British — Ontario, Nova 
Scotia, and New Brunswick — five others have been added — 
Manitoba (1870), Columbia (1871), Prince Edward Island (1873), 
and the two prairie provinces (Alberta and Saskatchewan) in 1905. 

What is the racial composition of the nation ? If we agree that 
nations represent races, then its racial composition is as follows. 
Rather more than thirty-six per cent ate of English origin; 
somewhat more than seventeen per cent are of Scottish descent ; 
rather less than sixteen per cent draw their ancestry from Ireland. 
Thus sixty-nine per cent are of British origin; thirty-one per 
cent are traceable to seventeen nations of the continent of Europe. 
Of the continental nationalities in the British provinces the French 
contribute eight per cent, the Germans just under six per cent, the 
Russians under five per cent, the Scandinavians three per cent, 
the Poles two per cent, the Jews (who numbered 170,000 in 
1941) rather more than tvo per cent. Thus the " make up " of 


the British-Canadian nation is very similar to that of the United 
States, the chief pointsof differencebeing the proportions of people 
of British-Irish origin being fifty-three per cent in the United 
States, while it is sixty-nine per cent in Canada. On the other 
hand, the German element provided fifteen per cent of the 
population of the States, but less than six per cent of the Canadian 
population. In Canada, then, there are two nations of different 
origins ; that of Quebec draws over eighty per cent of its number 
from France,, that of the British provinces sixty-nine per cent 
from the mother lands. In Great Britain there is a political con- 
federation of three nations, in the Dominion of Canada, of two. 

I have been writing as if Canada had been uninhabited when the 
French took possession of the banks of the St. Lawrence. That is 
far from having been the case. From Nova Scotia to Columbia, 
a distance of over 3,000 miles, Canada was occupied by hunting, 
food-gathering tribes of Red Indians, who many thousands of 
years before the Caucasians arrived from Europe had themselves 
been colonists from Asia. The Ottawa confederacy was made 
up of three strong tribes of fierce fighters, as the early French knew 
to their cost. North of the Great Lakes were many large tribes 
arranged in several powerful confederations. At their zenith the 
Canadian Indians probably never numbered more than 130,000. 
In 1904 there were 108,000 of them; in 1945, 118,000. They are 
now (1946) increasing in number; more than ten per cent of 
them are half-castes. The Indians live apart, on reservations, or in 
villages of their own ; they are to be found in all the provinces of 
the Dominion. Ultimately they are likely to disappear by absorp- 
tion into the Caucasian stock. The anthropologist, viewing the 
colonization of Canada from his own narrow angle, sees in it a 
territorial gain for the " white " or Caucasian stock, at the expense 
of the Mongolian family. 

From Canada we cross the Pacific to mark the rise of another 
new nation, that of Australia. The people of this continent are 
known as Australians and accept this name for themselves. I 
cavilled at the Yusanians taking the name " American " because 
in their continent of that name there are twenty-three nations, 
but in Australia there is only one. Their continent, which has an 
area of three million square miles, is like Canada in that its 
area is much greater than its habitability. In the opinion of 
Professor Griffith Taylor 5 only about ons fifth of it, that is 600,000 


square miles, is suitable for close settlement. The habitable lands 
are to be found in the south-eastern areas of the continent ; only- 
there is the rainfall sufficient to meet the needs of the farmer. In 
1945 the Australian nation numbered 7-3 millions, which gives an 
average of twelve persons for each square mile of " suitable " 
land. It is usually held that the numbers could be raised to fifty 
inhabitants to the square mile which would give white Australia 
a population of thirty millions. 

When Captain Cook ran up the Union Jack at Botany Bay in 
1770 and took possession of the land in the name of his Sovereign 
Lord, King George III, the whole continent was occupied by an 
aboriginal race of mankind which had been evolved in that quarter 
01 the earth. The Australian aborigines in 1770 numbered 
250,000 to 300,000; their organization was tribal; each tribe 
had its own territory on which it lived by gathering the 
natural produce and by hunting. Their tribes, which varied 
greatly in size, were very numerous; each represented an 
" independency " — a separate, inbreeding, perpetuating, evolu- 
tionary unit. The competition between the tribes for survival 
was mild and easy : the invasion and seizure by one tribe of the 
territory of another was almost unknown. By nature they were a 
cheerful people. Such was the race destined to be replaced by the 
Australian nation. In the State of Victoria, for example, which has 
an area of 88,000 square miles, and where about 7,000 aborigines 
had their abode, only 269 survived in 1943. They have been 
replaced by nearly two millions of energetic Caucasians. The 
Australian census of 1933 recorded the existence of 73,000 
aborigines on the whole continent, one third of which had 
Caucasian blood in them. They lose heart when their tribal 
wheels cease to revolve. 

No nation ever began life under less auspicious circumstances 
than did that of Australia. In January, 1778, after an eight-months' 
voyage from England, H.M.S. Sirius (Admiral Arthur Philips in 
command), accompanied by nine small transports, sailed between 
the Sydney Heads, to effect the first white settlement of Australia. 
In February following 1,030 colonists were put on shore; they 
were the overflow of English prisons. Lord Sydney, then 
Secretary for State for the Home Department and responsible for 
the choice of emigrants, gave the following instruction to 
Admiral Philips: 6 " As J would not wish convicts to lay the 


foundations of our Empire, I think they should ever remain 
separated from the Garrison and from other settlers that may 
come from Europe. . . . There can be no slavery in a free land." 
Admiral Philips reported that " no country offers less assistance 
to the first settlers than does this ", but adds " it will prove the 
most valuable acquisition Great Britain has ever made." From 
these facts readers will at once realize that British statesmen at the 
end of the eighteenth century were more concerned in relieving 
the pressure on their prisons than in nation-building. The " con- 
vict-colonists " were intended to supply free settlers with labour; 
one ought to be thankful that labour was chosen from Britain 
and not from Africa, India, or China. From the first it was 
•determined that colonists should be of the Caucasian stock 
and this policy has been steadily pursued by all Australian 

After 1820 free settlers began to arrive besides the large con- 
tingents of convicts, many of whom were guilty of offences now 
counted venial. By 1829 there were 37,000 settlers (including 
prisoners) in the neighbourhood of Sydney, New South Wales ; 
at the same date there was in Tasmania, which had its first con- 
signment of convicts in 1804, a population (free and bond) of 
17,000. After 1820 British settlers, many of them representatives 
of the better-off and better-educated people of the homeland, 
began to arrive. After 1830 settlement was permitted outside the 
original restricted areas ; new arrivals " took up " large tracts of 
land for sheep and cattle raising; the owners of these " stations " 
introduced a culture and a tradition not unlike that of the 
Virginians. But nowhere in Australia was there a community 
or a tradition equivalent to those of New England. 

By 1830 a settlement had been effected in Western Australia — 
the Swan River Colony — and about the same time prospectors 
were seeking lands for settlement in South Australia near where 
Adelaide now stands. These two settlements, in West and in 
South Australia, passed through many vicissitudes in their earlier 
phases, but ultimately both survived. Edward Gibbon Wake- 
field (1796-1862) had to do with both of these settlements. He 
deserves more than a passing notice, for he was the first English- 
man to foresee that emigration, rightly managed, might bring 
into existence a British Commonwealth of nations. Having run 
away with an heiress (in Chancery), hs had to expiate his offence 


by spending three years in Newgate prison (1827-30), during 
which time he planned his schemes of emigration. The public 
cf his time were indifferent to colonies; political economists 
regarded them as encumbrances. Under Wakefield's scheme 
" the mother country and the colony would become partners in a 
new trade — the creation of happy human beings ; one country 
providing the raw material — that is the land ; the other providing 
the machinery — that is the men and women to convert the 
unpeopled soil into living images of God." 7 He knew that 
colonies had to be nursed in their early stage but hoped to make 
them self-supporting by selling the " native " land and using the 
proceeds to bring out fresh colonists. We shall meet with 
Wakefield again when dealing with the early colonization of New 

In 1 85 1 a strong tide of immigration set in; gold had been dis- 
covered and large tracts of land were being freed for new 
arrivals; by 1891 1,300,000 had come from Europe, the vast 
majority from the mother country. In the meantime the con- 
tinent had become divided into provinces; as they came into 
being responsible government was given to their inhabitants. 
Tasmania was parted from New South Wales in 1825 and became 
self-governing in 1856; Victoria was separated from the mother 
colony (N.S.W.) in 1851, and shouldered its own government in 
1856; Queensland was cut off from New South Wales in 1859 
and at the same time became responsible for the management of 
her own affairs. South Australia was recognized as a province in 
1836 and as a self-governing colony in 1856. Western Australia 
received its constitution in 1 890. Thus six separate colonies came 
into existence ; in each there was a potential danger of becoming 
an independent State and Nation. Joseph Chamberlain, who was 
Secretary of State for the Colonies in 1900, foresaw the danger; 
he proposed that Australia should copy the plan adopted by the 
American colonists — namely, that the six colonies should become 
six federated States, united under a central Government. This 
plan was adopted in 1901 and in this way the Commonwealth of 
Australia was brought into existence. Under the pressure of 
war (1939-45) the constituent States surrendered their liberties 
to the central Government for a term of seven years, evidence of 
the existence of a national unity within the Commonwedth. 

There is no separate British nation or race within the homeland 


islands; there, we are English, Welsh, Scottish, or Irish; but 
here in Australia there is a race and nation of British origin. The 
racial composition of the Australian nation, so far as data gleaned 
from census.returns will permit us to judge, is as follows. Those 
of British origin make up ninety-seven per cent of the total 
population ; 8 only three per cent are traceable to the continental 
nations of Europe. Of the British, sixty per cent are of English 
origin; rather more than twenty-three per cent are of Irish 
parentage ; those of Scottish descent number slightly more than 
fifteen per cent; the "Welsh element number two per cent. The 
British representation in Canada is sixty-nine per cent against 
ninety-seven per cent in Australia; in both lands the proportion 
of Irish and of Scots is greater than in the home population ; in 
Canada the Scots outnumber the Irish; in Australia the pro- 
portions are reversed. The Australian nation, then, is truly 
British in its composition; in a new continent and isolated in 
a strange environment, it will develop its allotted potentialities 
and become an Australian race. 

Although a homogeneous people, the Australians have popu- 
lation problems of their own to solve. They are the trustees of 
a dying race ; a race can save itself only by its own spontaneous 
efforts; the best of trusteeship can only ameliorate, it cannot 
restore. Then, they have empty spaces; they have tropical 
territory in the north, where white men can live and breed, but 
white men will not toil in the fields at the temperature which 
prevails there if they can find a home in more temperate lands. 
The Australian nation suffers from a high standard of living and a 
low birth-rate. Their States are widely distant from one another ; 
there is the danger of secession. That danger receded as the war 
of 1939-45 went on; they had to unite to keep out a common 
enemy. Indeed, if in the crisis of 1941 the Esau of the British 
family had not come to the rescue, a "White policy for Australia 
might have come to a sudden end. 

From Australia we pass to New Zealand to consider the rise of 
the latest, and probably the last, of British nations. New Zealand, 
with a total area of over 103,000 square miles, is divided into 
a North Island with an area of somewhat less than that of England, 
and a South Island, which exceeds the area of England. In 1945 
the Caucasian inhabitants numbered over 1-7 millions, giving a 
•distribution of over sixteen to the square mile. In the course of 


a few centuries its population may well be equal to that of the 
home islands at the present time (forty-seven millions). 

For at least four centuries before the arrival of the British, New 
Zealand had been inhabited by the Maoris, a robust, tribal people 
of Polynesian stock. In 1945 they numbered 97,000, a figure 
which is probably greater than any attained in pre-British times. 
After their last war with the white colonists (1861-71) they lost 
heart and their numbers declined. In 1898 there were only 
42,000 of them; since then they have more than doubled their 
numbers. They have their own communities; 4-4 thousand 
square miles have been reserved for their use. Probably one in 
seven of the present generation has white blood in his veins. 
Complete absorption by the white population is a possibility. ■ 

In 1 8 14 the British settlement of New Zealand was heralded 
by the arrival of missionaries in the North Island ; they were soon 
followed by adventurers who obtained grants of land from local 
chiefs. Scots were early on the scene ; so was Wakefield. He, 
with others, promoted companies in London to acquire land and 
found colonies. " Everything," said Wakefield, " is to be 
English, save the soil. . . . The new country is to be made a 
counterpart of England." 9 Early in 1840 a Governor was sent 
out by the Crown and settlement began in earnest. In 1844 
the Free Church of Scotland sent out colonists by the thousand to 
establish a home in the South Island (Otago) ; the High Church 
colonists from England settled in the same island at Canterbury 
to the north of the Scots. In the sixties 50,000 Scandinavians 
arrived. In 1852 the colonists became responsible for the manage- 
ment of their own affairs ; in 188 1 the population passed the half- 
million mark; in 191 1 the million mark was reached. In 1907 
New Zealand became a Dominion; in 1931, with other British 
Dominions, she became a self-governing nation, her only remaining 
tie with the homeland being her allegiance to the British Crown. 

The New Zealanders, in their racial composition, are even more 
British than the Australians. In the census of 191 1, it was 
estimated that ninety-eight per cent of the population was of 
British origin and no foreign influx has happened since then. 
The New Zealanders of British origin trace themselves back to 
the home-countries in the following proportions : sixty per cent 
to England — the same as in Australia ; twenty-one per cent to 
Scotland, which is eight, per cent greater than in Australia; 


eighteen per cent to Ireland, five per cent 'less than in Australia; 
one per cent to Wales, half the proportion found in Australia. 
One feature of the New Zealand nation is the strength of the 
Scottish element ; in the home population it represents only ten 
per cent of the total population, but in New Zealand it has more 
than twice that proportion. The New Zealanders, too, have 
established quite a distinctive tradition, differing from that of any 
of the home nationalities. 

The reader who has had die patience to follow me thus far 
may be inclined to ask : " What has the rise of these New Nations 
to do with Human Evolution?" Let us consider, in the first 
• place, the evolutionary change produced in the world of humanity 
by the rise of a Caucasian nation in New Zealand. That land, 
formerly held by a people of the Mongolian Division of mankind, 
has been taken over by one belonging to the Caucasian Division. 
To that extent the composition of the world of humanity has 
been changed. The Caucasian stock has gained an increased 
foothold on the earth at the expense of a rival stock. It is in this 
way that evolutionary changes are being effected, the way in 
which they have always been brought about; always by one 
community or people, possessing advantages, replacing another 
which is without these advantages. Or take the case of Australia ; 
for scons of time it has been in possession of a people belonging to 
the Australasian Division of humanity ; that people has been re- 
placed by a new Caucasian people ; the map of humanity has been 
altered to that extent. Much more drastic arc the changes which 
have been brought about in North America by the intrusion of the 
Caucasian stock into territories formerly held by tribes of Mon- 
golian derivation. The United States and Canada make up one 
seventh of the total area of the earth available for human habita- 
tion; they have become strongholds for Caucasians ; 140 million 
Europeans have taken the place of little more than a million 
Red Indians. Never in any period of human history have 
evolutionary changes taken place so extensively and so rapidly as 
in the last five centuries. New nations have been brought into 
existence, nations made up of a combination of old genes ; and 
may we not expect that new genes will in due time make their 
appearance among the old and that distinctive genes will come 
into existence? In fresh environments, too, other selective 


agencies will come into operation and so help to give these new 
nations distinctive physical appearances. New races are arising 
under our eyes. 


1 Montandon, George, Revue Scientif, 1938, Sept. 15, p. 288. 

2 Montandon states that there were three million French in North America 
at the time of the Revolution. 

3 Learock, Stephen, New York Times, Aug. 19, 1934. 

* The number of Loyalists who left the United States for Canada after the 
Revolution is variously estimated. Some authorities give 40,000, others 

5 Ta)lor, Professor Griffith, Reports of Austral. Assoc. Advan. Sc, 1923, vol. 
18, n 433. 

6 Becke, L , and Jefirey, W., Admiral Philips, The Founder of New South 
Wales, 1 899. 

7 Mills, R. C , The Colonization of Australia, 1915, vol. 18, p. 310. 

8 Carr-Saunders, Sir A. M., Eugenics Review, 1927, vol. 18, p 310. He 
gives the number of Australians of British descent as over 90 per cent. 

9 Scholefield, Guy H., United Empire, 191 1, vol. 2, p. 303. 

10 Carr-Saunders, Sir A. M., gives the percentage of New Zealanders of 
British descent as " over 95 " {see under reference 8). 



The preceding essay and my eighty-first year having come to an 
end on the same day, it' seemed to me expedient to cast an eye 
backwards and recapitulate the salient points of my argument 
before passing on to the remaining part of the field I had intended 
to cover. First, then, let me retread the path along which my 
argument has come as briefly as words will pertnit. Going back 
to Essay I, the reader will find an outline of my theory of human 
evolution; its basal idea is that, from the very beginning, man 
has evolved as a member of a social team or group ; that these 
miniature societies remained apart and were in competition with 
each other. Essay II is devoted to authors who have anticipated 
one or more of the ideas which go to make ,up the " Group 
Theory " of human evolution. In Essay III evidence is assembled 
to prove that in all parts of the earth mankind is now, or was at a 
former period, divided into a mosaic of small, isolatedcommunities. 
In Essay IV the importance and the antiquity of" territorialism " 
as a factor in evolution is discussed ; each social group considered 
itself the absolute owners of the land on which it lived. In these 
earlier essays it is postulated that man's evolution is divisible into 
two distinct but unequal periods. There was first the long primal 
period when mankind was separated into small local groups or 
communities; this period is estimated to have lasted at least a 
million years. It was during the primal period that man made 
his major evolutionary advances. The post-primal period began 
with the discovery of agriculture. Although the post-primal 
period has endured for less than 10,000 years it has led to a 
revolution in the mode of human evolution. 

The essays which begin with V and end with XIII form a series 
devoted to a single subject — namely, the rise of the mentality 
which characterized the " evolutionary units " or isolated local 
groups of* humanity during the primal period. The sources 



which provide information as to the mentality of early man are 
three in number. There is first the mentality of social groups 
of anthropoid apes which may be assumed to be older than that 
of human beings ; the second sources come from the study of 
primitive peoples still living in the group stage of existence ; the 
developing mentality of the modern child provides the third 
source of information. Essay V is devoted to an analysis of the 
" group spirit " — the mental bonds which keep the members of 
a group united and at the same time keep them apart from mem- 
bers of neighbouring groups. Patriotism comes up for considera- 
tion in Essay VI, particularly its importance as a factor in the 
evolution of groups. Patriotism, it is held, is similar in nature to 
all of man's inborn tendencies or predispositions and is made up 
of two elements. The disposition to love one's native land is 
inborn — the country loved depending on the accident of birth. 
Essay VII gives my reasons for believing that in primitive human 
groups mentality was so fashioned as to combine co-operation 
and competition into an effective instrument of evolution. It is 
assumed in Essay VIII that man has been evolved from a stock in 
which conduct was controlled by instinct, but that in him these 
have become changed into biases or predispositions. These 
innate predispositions are all directed towards the survival and 
perpetuation of the group or community. There is thus more 
than a grain of truth in the aphorism that " the species is 

Man's nature resents injury and seeks for retaliation and 
revenge. The role which revenge plays in keeping primitive 
groups apart is discussed in Essay IX. In this essay I take the 
opportunity of illustrating how an instinctive reaction intended 
primarily for the defence of the individual becomes transferred 
to serve in the defence of the group or tribe. The tribesman 
regards an injury to his tribe as one done to himself. Here, too, 
we come across the principle of collective responsibility and of 
collective justice, which serve so efficiently to keep the members 
of a group united. Perhaps the most potent of all the mental 
factors which mould the destiny of a group is that of ambition, 
or the search for status, which is the subject of Essay X.